Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Recently I received information about Lay Servant Ministries. As I was reading through the material, I was taken back in time, almost 15 years. At that time, I was working at the Atlantic First United Methodist Church as the Youth Director/Parish Assistant. The senior pastor of the church encouraged me to sign up for Lay Speaking Classes (the name was changed to Lay Servant in 2012). I was not at all thrilled about the idea. For one thing, it required me to give up some of what seemed to be my very limited free time. It would also require me to step out of my box, so to speak. It was something new and different and I just wasn't sure I wanted anything new and different in my life. I was pretty comfortable the way I was.
However, the nudging of the Holy Spirit and the senior pastor gave me the courage I needed to say yes. It ended up being one of those experiences that I was very thankful for. I met wonderful people. I found out things about myself that I didn't know, like the truth that I could be a leader in the church. I did not ever think I had what it would take to serve in that role. But I learned that God does not call the equipped, he equips the called. Once I could say yes to God's call in my life, through the Spirit, I was supplied with what I needed to accomplish God's purpose for my life. I learned the truth that it was not about me, and never had been. It was all about God and always would be.
Leaders in the church serve by leading in the Spirit. They model spiritual maturity and discipline. Leaders spend time with the people who are a part of the church in order to hear their dreams for the church. They then work closely with others so they can name a shared vision. Leaders help develop action plans so the shared vision can become a reality. Then they continue to monitor the church's journey as the church seeks to be faithful to the mission and vision of the church, and always remembering the mighty Spirit of God is continually moving within you to guide you.
Included in this newsletter is information about Lay Servant Ministries and the upcoming Lay Servant Ministries Classes (to be offered in Council Bluffs in October). I encourage you to not dismiss this too quickly. Take time to think about taking the steps to be a Lay Servant and take time to listen for God's direction.
After giving this thoughtful and prayerful consideration, you discern God is not calling you to a Lay Servant Ministry at this time in your life, then I have something else you can do. You can be an encourager. Sometimes we can see gifts in people they can not see in themselves. Is there someone in our congregation who you believe is called to Lay Servant Ministry? Tell them. Be God's voice in their ear. That just may be your calling. And a worthy one it is.
And All God's Children Said,
Grace and Peace,