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

This course is foundational for all courses in lay servant ministries.  Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts as God intended and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in discipleship. 

REQUIRED TEXTLay Servant Ministries: Basic Course Participant’s Book by Sandy Jackson (ISBN 978-0-88177-626-3).  Individuals are expected to read and complete this text prior to the first class.  Available from Cokesbury, Amazon (book or kindle), and the Upper Room Bookstore (book or ePub).

DATES: Friday, May 13, 2022 and Saturday, May 14, 2022

TIME: Friday - 6-9pm (registration begins at 5:30pm), Saturday - 8am - 3pm (both days are required)

LOCATION: Neoga Grace UMC, 752 Walnut Ave, Neoga 62447

COST:  $30.00 (bring your own lunch on Saturday; drinks and snacks provided)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  Friday, May 6, 2022

REGISTRATION:  Advanced registration is required.

CONTACT:  Lori Sparks, ERD Lay Servant Ministries Director, la_sparks2008@yahoo.com

Flyer

Registration

Advanced Class

ADVANCED COURSE:  God’s Mission, Our Journey

This course will provide participants with a better understanding of a holistic approach to participation in God's mission to the world and equip lay servants for more effective missional engagement in their own communities and beyond.  This course encourages short-term mission volunteers to reflect on the reasons why they engage in mission and how they plan and prepare to be more intentional. It helps volunteers shape the stories of their mission experiences in a way that enhances their personal and spiritual journeys. This class DOES NOT count towards the Lay Speaker Tract.

Required Text:  A Mission Journey: A Handbook for Volunteers by Jodi Cataldo. Participants are expected to read and complete the text prior to class.  The instructor will notify the participants of any additional assignments.  Available through Amazon (paperback & kindle).

DATES: Friday, May 13, 2022 and Saturday, May 14, 2022

TIME: Friday - 6-9pm (registration begins at 5:30pm), Saturday - 8am - 1pm (both days are required)

LOCATION: Neoga Grace UMC, 752 Walnut Ave, Neoga 62447

COST:  $30.00 (bring your own lunch on Saturday; drinks and snacks provided)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  Friday, May 6, 2022

REGISTRATION:  Advanced registration is required.

CONTACT:  Lori Sparks, ERD Lay Servant Ministries Director, la_sparks2008@yahoo.com

Flyer

Registration