Leaders of LCMS Servant Events gather near St. Louis, MO for the annual training conference.
Leaders of LCMS Servant Events show off their repurposed tshirt bags, an example of a “rainy day” servant event activity.  

Earlier this month, leaders of LCMS Servant Events gathered for our annual training conference near Saint Louis, MO. During this time, leaders planned for future Servant Events while becoming acquainted with practical aspects of leadership roles.

Leaders present included new, novice and veteran project coordinators, work directors and community life leaders who will serve youth and their adult leaders at servant events planned for the coming months through next summer. From Friday evening through Sunday morning, we gathered to learn from, affirm and support one other as leaders were challenged to a deeper understanding of servanthood. Here are a few highlights:

Prior to the start of the conference, members of the LCMS Servant Event Committee had the opportunity to talk on KFUO’s Faith n Family about the impact servant events have on those serving and those being served. Listen to the interview here.

"I Am An Echo" is the theme for 2017 LCMS Servant Events based on Phil. 4:8-9. Once finalized, resources will be available at http://servantevents.lcms.org/SEResources.asp.
“I Am An Echo” is the theme for 2017 LCMS Servant Events based on Phil. 4:8-9. Once finalized, resources will be available at http://servantevents.lcms.org/SEResources.asp.

Daily devotions and Bible study are a key part of LCMS Servant Events with resources for 2017 events using the theme “I Am An Echo” based on Philippians 4:8-9. DCE Julianna Shults, the resource’s author and Lutheran Young Adult Corps program manager, led the group through an overview of the daily themes along with sample devotions and Bible study. Following completion, these resources will be used by youth and adult leader participants at LCMS Servant Events as well as by young adults serving at the LCMS Youth Adult Corps sites.

Workshops are an important part of the weekend giving leaders the opportunity to learn more about topics applicable to their specific setting. In one workshop, Top Ten Servant Learnings from Veteran Leaders, DCE Greg Arnett and Shelly Carlson discussed ten helpful steps they use in the planning process for their events:

1. Surround your event in prayer
2. Develop a support team
3. Always have a back-up plan
4. Prepare a “tentative” schedule to follow
5. Provide good communication with work team
6. Provide good communication with adult group leaders
7. Remember to delegate
8. Plan for adequate hydration
9. Be flexible
10. Develop a realistic budget

You’ll find a collection of other LCMS Servant Event “Top 10’s” on the YouthESource.com.

The conference ended with worship led by the Rev. Mark Kiessling, LCMS Youth Ministry director, who shared a message and led all the leaders in this closing prayer from the Lutheran Service Book:

All: Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untaken, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Please join me in giving thanks for these servant leaders and many others who will be faithfully leading youth and adult leaders in their many and varied settings at LCMS Servant Events.