Lay Servant Ministries is part of the discipling and leadership development work of our United Methodist Church. Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, and Certified Lay Ministers are professing members of a local church who have committed to serving Jesus Christ through the church and have received specific training. This training allows them to witness to the Christian faith through spoken communication, lead within a church and community, and to provide caring ministry. Certified Lay Speakers have specialized training so they may serve through preaching the Word when invited by local church clergy. Certified Lay Ministers take specialized training and are equipped to lead worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new faith communities, and other ministerial tasks. A Certified Lay Minister may be appointed by the bishop to serve a church as a Lay Person Assigned. Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, and Certified Lay Ministers must be recommended by their pastor and charge conference every year.
The West District is blessed with 39 Lay Servants, 3 Lay Speakers and 2 Certified Lay Ministers. There are an additional 4 people in the process to become Certified Lay Ministers. The blessings that come from these leaders in the church ripple out into our community. One of our West District certified Lay Servants answered her call to ministry, became a Licensed Local Pastor this year, and is now serving one of our West District churches. This is an excellent way to develop leaders for so many different kinds of ministries.
Learn more about Lay Servant Ministries and the requirements for certification as well as the specifics about the courses offered at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/lay-servant-ministries-catalog. Find a training opportunity in the Desert Southwest Conference at https://dscumc.org/lay-servant-ministries-training-sessions/ . We are grateful to Jeannie Ward our West District Lay Servant Ministry coordinator for leading this important ministry.
Is God calling you to a Lay Servant Ministry?