As most of you know by now Jim Mueller has been commissioned as our Lay Minister. Some people have asked, “Pastor, what’s a lay minister?” That’s a good question. Though a church has at least one pastor, some churches also rely on lay ministers to support the ministry of the church.
The term “lay minister” is used here in the Nebraska District but in my former district, the Kansas District, lay ministers were called “deacons.” A Lay Minister, or deacon, in many ways is like an Elder, only with more extensive training through the district. Men, who have gone through this training, and have been certified through the district, are able to serve in a congregation under the supervision of an ordained pastor.
Service can take many forms, from administration, to teaching and occasional preaching, to a care-giving ministry including hospital and home visits. Some lay ministers develop outreach and stewardship programs or help facilitate a congregation’s small group ministry. The areas of service are almost endless. How Jim’s role is carried out as our Lay Minister will, in part, depend on what he desires to do. That said, one of the things Jim does desire to do is to preach on occasion. So, over the next couple of weeks Jim will preach. On June 12, we will have a regular divine service with Holy Communion, led by me, but Jim will preach. On June 19, my wife and I will be looking at wild animals in Yellowstone National Park and Jim will lead the entire service and he will again preach. On June 19, Jim will lead worship without Holy Communion and so we will use the Order of Matins that day. It’s a beautiful service that I’m sure most of you are familiar with. We used the Order of Matins during the first phase of the pandemic when we broadcasted our services on Facebook with very few people present at church.
I look forward to how the Lord might use Jim in expanded ministry among us for service in His Kingdom. Currently, Jim serves as Chairman of our Trustees and is a member of our Board of Elders.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine