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

A Basic Lay Servant Course will be offered this fall.  Please check back periodically for updates on this.  If you have questions please contact the district office.


Advanced Class

2021 Summer Advanced Lay Servant Class - Called to Preach

DATE: Saturday, June 26, 2021                                                    

TIME: 8:00am - 4:30pm (registration begins at 7:30am)

LOCATION: Effingham Centenary UMC, 203 E Grove Ave, Effingham 62401

COST:  $25.00 

MEAL:  Bring your own sack lunch.  Drinks and snacks will be provided.

If you experience any difficulties with the on-line registration or need to edit your registration please contact the  Embarras River District Office at 217-347-3915 or

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  Friday, June 18, 2021

Registration Form