Purpose of Lay Servant Ministry:
Equipping laity to realize and respond to their call to ministry.
The purpose of the Lay Servant Ministry is to empower laity to serve the Lord in the church.
Lay Servant Ministries trains and equips laity to better serve as leaders in the local church. Lay Servants focus on communicating the Scriptures and their faith, providing basic skills in caring for others, and serve their churches/charges in leadership roles.
Lay Servants are available to serve the ministries of the local church and may be called to serve in ministry outside their local church in areas such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or senior residences.
If you have questions about this ministry, contact the following coordinators:
Alexandria District: Rick Kottemann, 703-768-2648
Arlington District: Ceceilia Taylor, 703-943-0642
Becoming a Certified Lay Servant:
To become a certified Lay Servant, one must be recommended by his/her pastor and church council or charge conference, complete the Lay Servant Ministries Basics course, and be approved by the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries. To be re-certified each year, one must submit an Annual Lay Servant Report to the church charge conference. Lay Servants must complete an approved Lay Servant Advanced Course every three years.
Becoming a Certified Lay Speaker:
Certified Lay Servants who feel led to fill in for a pastor in his or her absence when asked or assigned, may become a Certified Lay Speaker.
In order to become a Certified Lay Speaker, one must complete the following courses:
- Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
- Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (UM Heritage)
- Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (UM Polity)
- Preaching or Story Telling
- Leading or Planning Worship
After those courses are complete, the candidate must personally present a 15-20 minute sermon before the District Committee of Lay Servant Ministry for evaluation.
To maintain Certified Lay Speaker status, one must complete one Advanced Course and present a sermon before the District Committee of Lay Servant Ministry every three years. The Lay Servant Annual Report to the Church Charge Conference must be completed each year.
Lay Servant Ministries Training:
Lay Servant Ministries Training is offered twice yearly (spring and fall) by the District Committee of Lay Servant Ministry. For more information on training, please visit our Lay Servant Training page.
The 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted resolutions that changed the name of Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay Servant Ministries. Lay Servant Ministry is our United Methodist system for lay leadership development and includes lay speaking as one of the certifications. The basic and advanced courses are designed to help develop skills in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken communication, church and community leadership, and care-giving ministries. Specific coursework is required to become a lay speaker, if desired.