What Is Lay Servant Ministries?

In 2012 the General Conference of The United Methodist Church approved legislation to change the name of Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay Servant Ministries.

The term servant was chosen because it best describes what Jesus told his disciples in John 13 after he himself had performed the duties of the lowliest servant. We are called to live out our discipleship as servants in leadership!

See the chart below for information about Lay Servants, Lay Speakers and Lay Ministers. 

 

CERTIFIED
LAY SERVANT

CERTIFIED
LAY SPEAKER

CERTIFIED
LAY MINISTER

Serves the local church or charge (and/or beyond) and:

  • Provides program leadership, assistance, and support
     
  • Leads meetings for prayer, training, study, and discussion
     
  • Conducts, or assists in conducting, services of worship, preaches the Word, or gives addresses
     
  • Provides congregational and community leadership and fosters caring ministries
     
  • Assists in the distribution of the elements of Holy Communion
     
  • Teaches the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of The United Methodist Church.

Serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on Lay Servant Ministries, in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1.

As part of a ministry team with supervision and support of a clergyperson:

  • Conducts public worship
     
  • Cares for the congregation
     
  • Develops new faith communities
     
  • Preaches the Word
     
  • Leads small groups
     
  • Establishes outreach ministries
     
  • Serves as a class leader
     
  • Engages in specialized ministries after appropriate training such as in parish nursing and church planting
     
  • Assists in program leadership

Requirements for Certification:

  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
     
  • Lay Servant Ministries BASIC course
     
  • Lay Servant Ministries advanced course
     
  • District committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent

Requirements for Certification:

  • Certified as a lay servant (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference)
     
  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
     
  • Completion of a track of study as defined in ¶267.3.c.
     
  • Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval after interview with and recommendation from the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries

Requirements for Certification:

  • Certified as a lay servant, lay missioner (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference)
     
  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
     
  • Completion of a track of study as defined in ¶268
     
  • District Superintendent recommendation
     
  •  Appropriate screening & assessment
     
  •  Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval after interview with and recommendation from district committee on Ordained Ministry

Requirements for Renewal:

  • Annual report & renewal application
     
  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
     
  • Lay Servant Ministries advanced course in the last three years
     
  • District committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure (See ¶668.3) approval

Requirements for Renewal:

  • Annual report & renewal application
     
  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
     
  • Lay Servant Ministries advanced course in the last three years
     
  • Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval every three years after interview with and recommendation from the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries

Requirements for Renewal:

  • Annual report
     
  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
     
  • Ministry review
     
  • Lay Servant Ministries advanced course or approved continuing education event annually
     
  • District Superintendent recommendation
     
  • Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval every two years after interview with and recommendation from district committee on Ordained Ministry

 

Click here to download a .pdf of the Lay Servant Ministry Information Sheet. 

 

Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.