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Congregational Excellence

The folded napkin

Lay Servant Ministries


On a shelf in my kitchen, I have a stack of paper napkins. When it’s my turn to be hostess for United Methodist Women’s meetings, I bring snacks and also try to find napkins for the occasion. And, of course, there are family gatherings that call for special napkins, so I end up with a mixture of napkins for many holidays or special days. I have a few that are from more formal occasions that I have left from weddings, anniversary celebrations, etc. Now that I’m usually the only one for meals in ...

Fill Your Cup and Get To Work

Lay Servant Ministries


A couple of times of late I've felt compelled to Facebook post one of those "My heart is heavy" posts, and the UMC has certainly provided lots of opportunity of late. I'm not one to just throw stuff out there on a daily basis,  but rather I sit on it and stew for a while...sometimes as a way to verify if it is just my mood for the day or that it truly is something...discerning, praying, reflecting. In this Lenten season time of reflection I find myself reflecting. A lot.   This is not a blog ...

About Lay Servant Ministries

Lay Servant Ministries


What is the importance of Lay Servant Ministries? It is to better equip laity to help them serve in their ministry to help make disciples of Jesus Christ.     Who should take part in Lay Servant Ministries? Anyone who feels called to the ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ.    Isn't Lay Servant Ministries just basically pulpit supply? There are many different paths for a Lay Servant to follow in this program. This is why we have many different types of classes. You can reach out to your...

Servant-Leadership in the Local Church

Lay Servant Ministries


I have been giving the role of servant-leader some thought recently. I believe if one were to ask the pastors of our United Methodist Churches of the Great Plains Conference, “What is one of the greatest needs for the church?” the reply would be, “Leadership among the laity.” Lay Servant Ministries is all about training up servant-leaders for the church of Jesus Christ. Training courses in a variety of ministries and roles within the local church are offered in the Great Plains Conference on a ...

This is MY church!

Lay Servant Ministries


I was in a meeting at a local church with the district superintendent when a lady burst into tears and proclaimed: “This is MY church!” The DS replied hotly “this is GOD’s church!” Who was right? Who was wrong? They both were! Say what? How can they both be wrong AND right? The woman was right in that each local congregation is a unique entity that the members are responsible to maintain. We are to encourage, teach, reach out and keep our local church vital and strong. Too often we rely on ...

Don't be confused by what Lay Servants do to serve God

Lay Servant Ministries


Did you ever find so many things roiling around in your mind that you couldn’t make sense of what was going on?  Isn’t being a Lay Servant confusing? That’s my situation right now.  I have this epistle passage, a recent article from the Five Rivers District Lay Servant Ministries newsletter, an old teaching from my first-grade teacher and a story (supposedly) about St. Francis all jumbled up in my mind. And I need to find a way to make sense of it all in some kind of “inspirational message” ...

Lay Servant Ministries: Networking, Training, Advocacy

Lay Servant Ministries


It seems to me there is such potential for making disciples using the framework of the Lay Servant Ministries program. Let’s call it honing discipleship skills. How do we best move the Lay Servant Ministries program forward as a dynamic part of the Great Plains Conference? I believe we do this by providing networking opportunities, organizing appropriate training events and advocating for the role of the Lay Servant in the mission of the church.   Networking opportunities begin with the district...

An authentic walk in the Word

Nathan D. Stanton


A story of Mike Cather's spiritual leadership journey (photo left). Standing six foot five inches, Mike Cather is easily located in a crowd. The former college basketball player is a full-time farmer, father, husband and long-time lay leader at Anthony United Methodist Church, in Harper County, Kansas.  Mike has been involved with United Methodist ministry his whole life growing up United Methodist as a child and a youth. He accepted Christ at the age of fifteen while surrounded by his ...

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