(At the 2012 General Conference, the name Lay Speaking Ministry was changed to Lay Servant since the responsibilities extend beyond speaking.)
How often and in how many ways are you called? We, as United Methodists, believe our faith must be lived out in our lives and in the life of the world if it is to have any validity. Consequently, our faith must be a living, vital, acting faith that seeks to transform the world or, to use a phrase of Wesley's, "to spread Scriptural holiness over the land." (Lay Speaking Ministries Basic Course)
Becoming a certified lay servant in the United Methodist Church prepares a person for ministry in whatever area they choose. Lay Servant Ministries involves Leading, Caring, and Communicating. A certified lay servant may choose to lead a Bible study, start a prayer ministry, teach Sunday school, participate in a prison ministry or visit the elderly and shut-ins and the nursing home. The sky is the limit for ways and opportunities to minister.
Each district usually has two training events a year. They offer a Basic Course for those just beginning in the Lay Servant Ministries. After the Basic Course, you must complete an Advanced Course to become a Certified Lay Servant. Certified Lay Servants must complete an Advanced Course every three years in order to remain certified. (Click here for a current listing of class topics available for Advanced Certification Training.)
Following is a directory of District Directors of Lay Servant Ministries. These persons, or your District Superintendent, will be happy to talk with you about training to become a lay servant in the United Methodist Church.
Heartland District - Gary Benham
Kentucky East District - Sue Roberts and Tommy Thornsbury
Lexington District - Ronnie Royse
Northern KY District - Grace Rockstroh
Owensboro District - TBD
Pennyrile District - Rita Grace
South Central District - Gina Lyon
The 2012 Book of Discipline is a good source for learning more about the requirements and the structure of Lay Speaking Ministries. You are encouraged to read paragraphs 267, 268, and 269 to assist you in making a decision to become a lay speaker.
We invite you and encourage you to become a part of this wonderful ministry of the United Methodist Church.