Lay Servant Ministries
A United Methodist Lay Servant is a member of a local church or charge who:
• Is an active supportive member of The United Methodist Church;
• Is ready and eager to serve the Church;
• Is well informed on and committed to the Scriptures and the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church;
• Has received specific training to develop skills in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken communications, church and community leadership, and care-giving ministries;
• Is committed to witnessing through church and community leadership, care-giving ministries, and spoken communication; and
•Is willing to improve his or her skills for service.
The Lay Servant Ministries program provides training opportunities and experiences to equip disciples of Jesus Christ to realize and respond to their personal calls to ministry. Since each disciple is ‘gifted’ with one or more spiritual gifts (skills given by the Holy Spirit for the express purpose of serving the body of believers and thereby God), Lay Servant Ministries strives to help disciples become aware of their particular gifts by offering educational events to enhance and develop the skill level necessary for the full fruition of these gifts. It has aided thousands of church members to be better servants of Jesus Christ, to become stronger church family and community leaders, and to more capably assist their pastors. The main description for local church Lay Servant Ministries requirements can be found in Paragraphs 266 (p. 210) – 269 (p. 213) of the 2012 Book of Discipline.
Leading, Caring, Communicating: These words characterize what lay speakers do in ministry as The United Methodist Church engages the world of the 21st century!
• Leading: Lay servants combine words and actions in leadership roles within their churches and communities.
• Caring: As lay servants combine words with deeds, they find ways to care for others. Some are involved in crisis ministries, such as visiting grieving families. Lay servants share a ministry of caring one-on-one with people in times of need and in times of joy, and show their faith by responding to others with care--giving love and service.
• Communicating: Both the Bible and Christian experience point to the importance of proclaiming God's transforming love for a broken world. Lay servants often fill pulpits, lead Bible studies, or speak in youth and children's groups, health care centers, retirement centers, prison ministries, and more.
There still seems to be confusion about the name change from “Lay Speaking Ministries” to “Lay Servant Ministries.” Change is always difficult and this situation has been compounded because we have a new ministry within Lay Servant Ministries that has an old name – Lay Speaker. Click here to read a full response from Johnnie Draughon, Virginia Conference Director of Lay Speaking Ministries
Visit the website for the General Board of Discipleship for additional information: http://www.gbod.org/lead-your-church/lay-servant-ministries