Lay Servant Ministries
Lay Servants are to serve the local church or charge in any way in which their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. This includes the interpretation of scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the church.
One becomes a Lay Servant by taking the Basic Lay Servant Course. A lay servant will receive training to learn to be a more effective member of his or her local church through teaching Sunday School classes, coordinating Vacation Bible School, serving in areas of outreach, etc.
There are three additional aspects of the Lay Servant Ministries program:
Certified Lay Servant:
One receives this designation after having taken the basic class and an advanced class. Certified Lay Servants will take leadership development training in order to serve their local church, district, and/or the conference in a multitude of ways, such as:
- Provide leadership, assistance, and support to the program emphases of the church or other United Methodist ministry.
- Lead meetings for prayer, training, study, and discussion when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay servant ministries.
- Conduct, or assist in conducting, services of worship, preach the Word, or give addresses when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay servant ministries.
- Work with appropriate committees and teams that provide congregational and community leadership or foster caring ministries.
- Assist in the distribution of the elements of Holy Communion upon request by a pastor.
- Teach the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of The United Methodist Church.
Certified Lay Speaker:
A certified lay speaker is a certified lay servant whose call has been affirmed to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1. The certified lay speaker serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay servant ministries, in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1.
To become a Certified Lay Speaker, you must:
- Be a Certified Lay Servant
- Obtain recommendation from the pastor and the church council or charge conference of the local church in which you hold membership.
- Complete a track of study including courses on leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching, United Methodist heritage and polity, and/ or other courses as determined by the conference committee on lay servant ministries or equivalent structure.
- Interview with and obtain recommendation from the District Board of Laity, to be submitted to the conference committee on lay servant ministries, or equivalent structure, for approval and certification.
Certified Lay Minister:
A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant or certified lay missioner, who is called and equipped to conduct public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new and existing faith communities, preach the Word, lead small groups, or establish community outreach ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. A certified lay minister is assigned by a district superintendent in accordance with ¶419.2.
For more information about the Lay Servant Program, visit this site.
Upcoming Lay Servant Training
Our next offering of Lay Servant Training will be:
Park Street UMC (Belmont)
More details coming soon!