NORTH COAST DISTRICT
"To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." - Ephesians 4:12
Lay Servant Ministries is a leadership development program in the UMC focused on equipping and empowering lay persons who have responded to the call of God to serve in mission and ministry. These lay persons are called to live out their own discipleship as servants in leadership through the ministries of leading, caring, and communicating. Being called to ministry is a serious endeavor. It takes a disciple to make a disciple! We must do all we can to prepare ourselves and others to serve.
Lay Servant Ministries is one of the most significant lay leadership development programs already available within the UM connection. Through this system of equipping and empowering, lay servants have the opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ who then go and make other disciples.
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others." - Mark 10:45
Lay Servants have a wide range of functions both in the church and the community.
|Caring & Visitation Ministries
|Called to share the good news of Christ with others
|Small Group Studies
|Mission & Outreach
|Caring for the hungry
|Locally & globally
|Caring for the imprisoned
|In Worship settings
|Care & concern for Pastor
|Speaking in community venues
|Assist with Liturgy
|Care & concern for staff
|Giving voices to the voiceless
|Assist with Communion
To become a certified lay servant, you must be recommended by the local church and complete the basic “Introduction to Lay Ministries” course and complete one advanced lay servant ministries course. Certified lay servants serve the local church and/or beyond the local church in many ways so that their witness, leadership, and service inspire others to a deeper commitment to Christian living.
A certified lay servant is a professing member of a local church or charge or a baptized participant of a recognized UM collegiate ministry or other UM ministry setting who desires to serve the church and who knows and is committed to Scripture and the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The UMC. This is a person who has received specific training to witness to the Christian faith through spoken communication, to lead within a church and community, and to provide caring ministry.
The certified lay servant serves the local church or charge (or beyond) in ways in which his or her witness, leadership, and service inspires others to a deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. The certified lay servant, through continued study and training, should prepare to undertake one or more of the following functions, giving primary attention to service within the local church or charge, UM collegiate ministry, or other UM ministry setting:
Becoming a Certified Lay Servant
Recognition as a certified lay servant may be renewed annually by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries after the certified lay servant has:
Certified lay servants who feel a calling to preach the Word and serve as pulpit supply in the District or Conference can become certified lay speakers by first becoming a certified lay servant and completing a track of study of core lay servant ministries courses in leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching, and UM heritage and polity.
A certified lay speaker is a certified lay servant whose call has been affirmed by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with paragraph 341.1 in the 2016 Book of Discipline. The certified lay speaker serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on Lay Servant Ministries, in accordance and compliance with paragraph 341.1 in the 2016 Book of Discipline.
Becoming a Certified Lay Speaker
*If a prescribed course was taken in the last 3 years before application to the program, it will count toward meeting this requirement. Consult with your district director of Lay Servant Ministries for additional details.
Recognition as a certified lay speaker may be renewed annually by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries after the certified lay servant has:
Every Third Year
A certified lay servant who wishes to become part of a ministry team under the supervision of a clergy person and lead public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, preach the Word, lead small groups, establish outreach ministries, or develop new and existing faith communities can become a certified lay minister by completing a broad track of study as determined by the respective Conference of the UMC.
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 UMC 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.
First, there is 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.
Reports to Charge Conference (printable/editable PDFs)
North Coast District
Rev. Bruce Hitchcock
4700 Rockside Rd., Suite 300
Independence, OH 44131
Phone: (216) 441-4527
Monday through Thursday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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