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 Servants fill pulpits; lead Bible studies; teach/lead Sunday school classes; speak at retirement centers, to prisoners, and at youth group gatherings, as well as teach and facilitate in other small group settings.
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.