Life Update: Expanding my Ministry

Hi, friends. Today’s post is casual and personal. This is an update on the ministry I’ve been up to lately! [In other words, here are the reasons I’ve been pressed for time to keep up with your blogs lately–I’m trying to catch up, though!]

I attend a United Methodist Church. UMC’s are all connected as an international denomination.

Lay Servant Class

In the UMC, members of the laity (aka congregation members) can take classes to develop their leadership skills at Lay Servant Class. Our district of UMC’s includes about 150 churches; is it crazy that we have six districts in just the Western North Carolina Conference? Anyways, I attended the classes for four years straight–Basic (required for first-timers), UMC History, Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition, and Preaching.

I serve as an “intern” for one of the Basic courses this year and will be a regular teacher next year if I “pass.” [Below are a few pics of my class from Sunday.] Every single class sold out this year; praise God!

Helping teach a class this year (last weekend and this upcoming weekend) has been a wonderful experience. I think I can definitively call “teaching” one of my spiritual gifts because it brings me such joy, and others have remarked that they love listening to me. Any glory is not my own; I am simply investing my talent instead of burying it; the talent was given by my master. 😉

United Methodist Women

United Methodist Women is a women’s mission organization that operates in the US and globally with the goal of “turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world.” Women seeking a social club should flee in the opposite direction because these ladies put their money (and their ministry) where their mouth is! I truly admire their grit. [Below are a few pics from a newsletter I created. I didn’t make the Conference Events flyer.]

I now serve as the Communications Coordinator for our United Methodist Women district, which first and foremost means that I create our quarterly newsletters. Little did I know how much of a learning curve there would be in taking on an extensive graphic design project! I spent countless hours working; most of that was trial-and-error. Thank the Lord for Canva, though. It all paid off with the result of an aesthetically-pleasing newsletter and a lot of happy ladies. I had a few minutes to feel proud of my work before starting on the second newsletter. 😆

More Ministry

I teach the adult Sunday school class at my church, which has also brought me such joy. I usually preach in my pastor’s place when she leaves town. Starting this Sunday, I am delivering the message three weeks in a row because some local clergy and laity are travelling to the Holy Lands. My message this coming Sunday uses the verses 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. 🙂 I also consider my involvement in the Christian blogging community an avenue of ministry.

Final Thoughts

If it sounds like I am “humble bragging,” know that I view these opportunities as blessings and only do these things to build up the body of Christ. I have shared stories about my struggles with pride and validation in the past (here).

So here is my life update! Brothers and sisters, remember that Jesus did not come into the world to be served but to serve!

Sidenote: both Lay Servant Class and United Methodist Women include racial diversity. I can’t think of any other context where I’m surrounded by equal amounts of black people and white people. It feels awesome to be a part of that unity.

Thanks for reading! Please let us know in the comments–how has God used you lately, good and faithful servant? Bless us by sharing your ministry.

The joyful energy of this song is my aesthetic lately–

43 responses to “Life Update: Expanding my Ministry”

  1. At least good news to post about UMC after all the GC2019 stuff earlier this week

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite what happens at conference, love, leadership, and discipleship are growing in local churches. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Sounds like you have a full plate. Glad you are donating your time and abilities to your church body! I vouch for your teaching/writing abilities.

    How did the recent vote affect your church?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sullivan! In a broad sense, people on every side of the issue are hurting, simply because no one wants to see our global community of faith splintered in 100 directions. At my local church, and I assume in most UMC’s, nothing much has changed–we are still doing mission work and welcoming anyone with open arms.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry to hear about the strain and hurt. It is difficult to move as one and work through important matters, like qualified leadership.

        I pray that God would be glorified. That His work could continue and Godly leadership would be established through the vote so Jesus can be proclaimed.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think teaching is a wonderful thing to be able to do, so it’s brilliant you’ve been enjoying helping out with the class. And to now also be a communications co-ordinator, that’s fantastic! Sounds like you’ve been learning a thing or two along the way with graphic design (Canva really is fab, isn’t it?) I think you’re doing brilliantly Lily and it’s great to hear what you’re up to 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caz!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Proud of what the Lord is doing through you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Lily! You have been busy. Congrats on finding your path for using your God-given talents to serve people in a multiude of ways. “I also consider my involvement in the Christian blogging community an avenue of ministry.” I totally agree with this assessment of blogging. Great post! Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Rainer! I know you have been investing your spiritual gifts as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. May God bless you richly in all your ministries!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. God bless you, Melinda!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I admire that you press on in serving Jesus while dealing with physical challenges 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Matt! I don’t know if you pray something similar since you have physical struggles also, but something I often pray is “Lord, please miraculously cure my Friedreich’s Ataxia, but if it is Your will that I have it, help me to stay strong and inspire others through it” 🙂 A thought just occurred to me that I should start praying for scientists and researchers to find cures for diseases like ours!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In prayer I do ask for healing but also that I reach others by sharing how God helps me

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date. You are making good use of your gifts, and it sounds like many people are proud of what you are doing. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. They are blessed to have you serving!🙏🏻 Great work on the newsletter.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great post Lily! I think teaching is beneficial to both the teacher and students. I’m glad you found a hidden talent and are using it. I wish you the best on your teaching journey…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Daphne! I agree that teaching is as much a benefit to the students as the teacher. It’s similar to the concept that giving a gift actually feels better than receiving a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so excited to see you move forward and grow in your ministry. You obviously have the heart and gift for it. May God bless every opportunity!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. As a student in at Lay Servant–Basic, i can testify to the awesome-ness of this experience. Though i am already active in church, we can all benefit from a refresher course where we are nurtured, loved, enriched and challenged thru our discussions and assignments. Wishing all the best to my new friends!

    Exciting aside, during this training i realized that one of our church members has a spiritual gift that we had not been utilizing; long-story-short, i asked him to join me on a project and do some research, and he joyfully accepted!

    Final note: Lily was an AMAZING teacher. While i am admittedly a little prejudiced, I recognize and Thank God for her gift of story-telling as well as explaining it in such a way that you can apply her message to your own life . 🙂 ❤

    Proud Mama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mom! I love that you are trying to put Harrison’s spiritual gift to use. You are truly seeing him; your vision is growing more Christ-like. I pray that everyone who takes a Lay Servant Class will leave with renewed invigoration and passion like you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for updating on what you’re engaged in just now. Teaching is such a gift! Love the newsletter.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It truly is a blessing to see the development and growth you are experiencing. I considered graphic design as a possible major before I went to college, but I have no real skills at drawing. Canva certainly allows graphic design and I LOVE IT TOO! I can see why ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, T.R.! You also inspire me with your prophetic words!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I am thrilled to read about all the ways you are serving the Lord and the body of Christ. Your love for Christ is a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lily, You are the definition of what Christianity looks like. You inspire me to be a better christian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so kind, Angel. Thank you!

      Like

  17. I love when Jesus can use us in so many ways to further our will. Part of our job is to share what He is doing in our lives. Technology and graphics is a learning curve for anyone. Thankfully you can use some of your blog skills doing the newsletter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God must have directed me towards that job so I could put my graphic design skills to further use for Him! Thanks for dropping by, dear. ♥

      Like

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