Today, I had my first worship service since becoming a lay speaker… and it was awesome!
Here is a copy of the talk I gave before the sermon – – –
My journey actually began about 6 years ago when I became involved in a teen bible study we call BOB or break open the bible –But in December, I received an email from a friend telling me about a lay ministry class she was thinking about taking. She had sent the email to a bunch of women asking if anyone would be interested in joining her. Now I knew that we had lay speakers who came to fill in for a pastor when they were away, but I had no idea what becoming one entailed and besides I had too much stuff going on in my life and no time to do something like that ~ So I closed the email and really didn’t think much more about it. That night I went to bed and woke up around2:30 amand I was wide awake and I was thinking about that email!
So I got up and goggled “lay speaker” here’s what i found: ” A lay speaker is a member of a church who is eager to serve the church & community. Well informed in scripture and committed to church leadership, care giving ministries and spoken communications. A lay speaker is willing to improve their skills by training for service.” I thought – I can do that! So I looked at the email my friend had sent me one more time– and went back to bed.
The next day I was talking to Billy, my husband, and I said – What would you think if I became a lay minister. His response was “Why not, I hear your sermons all the time – might as well let someone else hear them.”
So I started looking for a way out! – I had found out during my lay speaking class that I am much like Jonah. Maybe the classes are during the week and I wouldn’t be able to attend because of work. So I looked at the class schedule and the classes were every other Saturday… and my Saturdays were wide open. It probably cost way too much money… then I found out it was subsidized by the Methodist church and cost about the same price as a good pair of sneakers. Well maybe it was only for people who were members of the Methodist church, they might not let me attend… so I wrote an email to the woman who was listed on the web page. She must have been sitting at her computer because she replied within 20 minutes and told me that they have people all the time taking this course from different denominations and they would love to have me attend.
So I finally looked up and said “Okay God – I guess this is my next adventure!” So, I called Debbie and said “lets do this together!” and we did. We studied – public speaking – the Old Testament – the New Testament – how to write a sermon – We wrote sermons and devotionals and prayers. ~ We learned about how the Methodist church was founded, how to use a hymnal to help with the service, a healing ministry and more!! It was pretty intense. I would come home mentally and physically exhausted but excited about what God was doing in my life. We received our certificates at the end of March. So this is just the beginning of my journey and I want to remind you that sometimes God speaks to us in different ways. Through sleepless nights, through cleared schedules or through emails from a friend! Sometimes he talks to us through a butterfly, a bird, a shooting star or some other form of nature. Sometimes he talks to us with billboards, street signs or bumper stickers. Other times it’s through the bible, or music or the words of a friend or stranger … and sometimes its through a sermon. ~ But God is talking… If he is talking to me, it may be trying to talk to you, so be on the lookout for it.