ERD Lay Servant Ministries

What Are Lay Servant Ministries?

Lay servant ministries had its origins in the early organization of the Wesleyan revival in England. With more societies than ordained clergy, John Wesley authorized the use of lay assistants who preached and conducted worship in the absence of clergy.  Speaking from the pulpit has always been one important role of the lay servant.  However, many lay servants never speak from the pulpit.  Today there are a wide range of functions, both in the church and in the world.  Lay servants show their faith by responding to others with care-giving love and service.  Some are involved with crisis ministries or hospital visitation,

while still others visit in nursing homes. Some share in caring one-on-one or are involved in specialized ministry in their community.  The Scriptures and Christian experience point to the importance of proclaiming God’s transforming love.  Lay Servant Ministries help Christians to claim their spiritual gifts, talents and skills, by offering them empowering training. This training encourages them to find places to use their God given gifts in ministry while providing them a network of support. 

What is a Lay Servant?

~ An active, supportive member of a United Methodist Church

~ Someone well informed on the Scripture, doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church

~ Someone committed to Christian service that is supported by on-going formal training to help them develop skills in witnessing to their Christian faith through: Leading in their church and community, Caring by providing care-giving ministries and  Communicating through the spoken word

Lay servants reach out to others in time of need, lead classes, chair committees, volunteer to organize outreach efforts of the church, and speak out about their faith. 


Certified Lay Servant –

  • Have taken an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministry
  • Serve the local congregation and beyond
  • Requires pastor and charge conference approval
  • Must complete an Advanced Course after the Basic Course
  • Must file an annual report
  • Must complete one (1) Advanced Course every 3 years

Lay Speaker –

  • Certified Lay Servants who provide pulpit supply on occasion
  • Requires pastor and charge conference approval
  • Must complete the required courses for Lay Speaker
  • Must interview with the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministry
  • Must be approved by the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministry
  • Must file an annual report
  • Every three (3) years must complete one (1) Advanced Course and interview with District Committee on Lay Servant Ministry


Upcoming Classes 

Basic Class

For laity wishing to begin taking Lay Servant classes.  This course invites you to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in discipleship.  It offers guidelines for optimal communication in leadership and presents numerous types of lay servant ministries.

REQUIRED TEXT:  Lay Servant Ministries: Basic Course Participant’s Book by Sandy Jackson.  Individuals will need to order this book.  Available through Cokesbury, Amazon and Upper Room.  Please allow at least two weeks for delivery

A Basic Lay Servant Course has not been scheduled.  Please check back periodically for updates on this.  If you have questions please contact the district office.