We discover leaders who offer Christ to a hurting world one neighborhood at a time, in order to fulfill the Great Commandment to love God and neighbor.

Teacher-In-Service Breakfast Outflow of Football Ministry


Near the end of August, Ross UMC in Dyersburg, TN held its annual football kick-off dinner for Dyersburg High School. During this dinner, we were asked to host the upcoming Teacher Prayer Breakfast. As a member of the church and an employee of Dyersburg City Schools, I was excited and honored to be asked, and our congregation was elated. Hosting a breakfast would grow our partnership with Dyersburg High School, and provide us with another opportunity for the church to be part of the school without encountering the obstacles of having churches in the school.

Soon after the school’s request, planning began with members of our congregation and with members of other churches in the area. On the day of the Prayer Breakfast, we gathered at 5:30 a.m. to pray and cook, focusing on our goal to make teachers feel cared for and appreciated. As over 100 teachers arrived, we welcomed them with warm smiles and huge helpings of home-cooked breakfast goodies. While the teachers ate, we listened to stories about their students and their journeys as teachers. As they spoke, the teachers’ commitment and passion were quite evident. Hearing their stories gave us an opportunity to share our stories as well.

Though this was an event to thank them, many teachers expressed their gratitude and appreciation for us, saying how much it meant to them to have time to eat and connect with each other before a long day of training. Before the teachers departed, we prayed for them, asking God for his blessing on their lives and the lives of their students.

As we reflected on the morning, we realized the harvest was greater than we imagined. We thanked God for giving us the energy and resources to serve our community. All of us agreed that when we come together in the name of Jesus, amazing things happen.

Being a part of this breakfast and a member of Ross United Methodist Church has given me a new outlook on the difference a church can make in the community. I’ve often wondered how I can be a blessing to others when my resources are limited. Because I am part of a missional faith community, I am empowered to spread the love of Jesus in meaningful ways. I serve because it lets me know that God is working in me and around me. Even in my hardest days, I can be a blessing to people, as God is a blessing to me. I am one of the 72.

Lacomma Simmons


 72+U Idea:

  1. Identify new opportunities to serve existing ministry partners. Ask, “What other needs do you have that our congregation could meet?”
  2. Partner with other faith communities and make God-sized plans to meet those needs. Don’t let limited resources confine your efforts.
  3. Connect personally with the individuals you are serving. Listen to their stories and share yours.
  4. Afterwards, reflect on the ministry gathering. Make note of areas of success and areas of improvement. Pray and rally the team for the next time.
  5. Celebrate God at work through your efforts by sharing your story within your congregation and community.

 Listening to God

discover photo one

“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” (Parker J. Palmer)

I’ve discovered that in my greatest moments of weakness, God calls me to surrender. When I consider scenarios and weigh options, God asks me to pause, to trust, and to follow. As a summer internship ended and I faced the upcoming school year with uncertainty and doubt, God directed my path to graduation. After I graduated from college, I wondered and prayed about where my path would lead me next. God answered my prayer. A new season of ministry with new opportunities unfolded, and I am trusting God to lead the way.

My journey of discovery is rich and rewarding. Through my work at United Methodist Communications, I listen to others and equip them with the information necessary to help start ministries, solve problems, and grow the Kingdom. When I mentor youth, I listen to how God continues to work through others in powerful ways, and I encourage young people to listen to the life God has given them. As I advocate for immigrants, I listen to the needs of our neighbors and share in their joys and struggles, and I invite others to hear these stories. I’ve been called to ministry, and I’ll continue to listen as that calling unfolds.

I’ll listen to God, and I’ll listen to the incredible people God has placed around me. I will continue to listen to my life, trusting God to lead the way as I take the next faithful step forward. I am one of the 72.

Morgan Stafford

New leaders are in your midst.  To access the Discover training components in Dropbox, click here.

Share your Discover story at [email protected].