Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/24/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Topeka: Kansas Avenue UMC
Topeka: Oakland UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Lowman UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: New Hope UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Pleasant Hill UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Romans 12:6-8

God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.


Today's Devotional

I recently joined the Hutchinson District Committee on Ministry.  This is not something new to me, as I’ve been on the dCOM of two other districts since I was ordained, and also served as a district registrar.  But the requirements for those coming before the dCOM are ever being refined, sometimes causing confusion for all involved and requiring clarification from the conference registrar.  It can be a nerve-wracking time for those moving through the process towards ordained ministry and for local pastors who also have requirements to be met.  Everyone who is an elder, deacon, local pastor, or certified lay minister has gone or will go before the dCOM for at least a few years of their lives as appointed pastors.

I came across the quoted verses from Romans, chapter 12, in my reading this week – a week when the dCOM met for interviews with continuing local pastors.  I was struck by how much these verses can be applied to us – clergy and lay folk – who populate these district committees.  We each have different gifts that God calls us to use – including a listening ear and a thoughtful mind.  Clergy members have knowledge of what is required by the denomination of those who preach under appointment.  Lay folk may not be comfortable in asking theological questions, but they can listen and ask questions about the things they would want to see in someone coming to serve their own congregations. 

Above all, though, in my mind, the work of the dCOM is to guide and encourage those pastors coming before us.  As I recall from my own years of appearing before this body, the most valuable thing to me was the encouragement I got for following my call to ministry and for the ministry I was carrying out. 

But encouragement is not important just for those seeking approval for ministry.  It is a gift that we all need to receive from others on a regular basis.  Encouragement is needed when we are starting out on a new venture; when life has beaten us down; when the road ahead looks impossible.  Encouragement is a gift we can all give to people around us.  It does not cost us anything to give encouragement.  And the gift of encouragement can make an enormous difference in someone’s life.
                                                                                                            -Robbie Fall, Retired Elder
                                                                                                            Hutchinson KS

Prayer for Reflection

Lord, show me those who need encouragement this day and help me to provide the encouragement they need.  Amen.


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