Lay Servants ministries are an official ministry of the United Methodist Church. The purpose of these ministries is to thorough equip lay people to provide effective ministry in the life of the church. Lay ministers become extensions of the ministry of the Elder for a local congregation. Currently there are three distinct (but related) components to our Lay Servant Ministries.
Certified Lay Servant To become a Certified Lay Servant one must complete both The Basic Lay Servant course and one Advanced Lay Servant Course. These courses are usually held on Friday evenings and all day on Saturday. Both basic and advanced courses are held in each district of our Conference (you can attend in any district) and some of the advanced courses are also offered on-line. To enroll in a course one must have consent (signature) of either the Pastor or the chair of the Staff Parrish Relations Committee.
Certified Lay Speaker A Certified Lay Speaker is a Certified Lay Servant who has also taken the advanced course on Lay Speaking. Lay Speakers are specifically trained to assist in leading worship, lead devotions and studies, and to provide the "message" in services of worship. Certified Lay Speakers are sometimes called upon to speak in church's when pastor's are absent from the pulpit.
Certified Lay Minister A Certified Lay Minister is a Certified Lay Servant who has completed 5 advanced courses along with four study books under the guidance of a mentor. To become a Certified Lay Minister one must be recommend by a local Church Council, interview with the District Committee on Ministry and undergo the psychological testing process provided by the Conferee Board of Ordained Ministry.