UMC Glossary: Laity = From laos, meaning "people of God"
"The witness of the laity, their Christ-like examples of everyday living as well as the sharing of their own faith experiences of the gospel, is the primary evangelistic ministry through which all people will come to know Christ and The United Methodist Church will fulfill its mission."
Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2016
Lay Ministry is a leadership development program in the United Methodist Church focused on equipping and empowering laypersons who have responded to the call of God to serve in mission and ministry. Being called to ministry is a serious endeavor. We must do all we can to prepare, train and equip ourselves and others to serve.
CERTIFIED LAY SERVANTS:
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. To become a certified lay servant, you must be recommended by the local church and complete the Basic Lay Servant Ministries course and complete one advanced lay servant ministries course.
CERTIFIED LAY SPEAKERS:
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 completing a track of study of core lay servant ministries courses: 1) leading worship, 2) leading prayer, 3) discovering spiritual gifts, 4) preaching, 5) United Methodist heritage and 6) polity. Candidates will be interviewed by their respective districts and approved by the conference committee on lay servant ministries.
"It will not permit you to be silent when God commands you to speak."
(John Wesley's encouraging response to lay preacher, Alice Cambridge, 1791).
CERTIFIED LAY MINISTERS:
A certified lay minister leads public worship, cares for a congregation, assists in program leadership, preaches the Word, leads small groups, establishes outreach ministries and/or develops new and existing faith communities under the supervision of a clergy person. A certified lay servant can become a certified lay minister by completing a broad track of study determined by the Missouri Conference. Learn more here: Certified Lay Minister. Contact the district office or a district lay leader for details before pursing this process.
UPCOMING LAY COURSES:
The next lay servant courses in the southwest district are scheduled for Saturday November 13, 2021 at First UMC in Monett. The courses offered this fall are:
- Basic Lay Servant Ministries Course
- Lay Preaching.
Watch this space, the district news page and the conference calendar for registration details.
Three other options that provide continual education opportunities for laity:
- You can find the current listing of all scheduled Lay Servant courses, virtual and face-to-face, in the Missouri conference here: Missouri Lay Servant Courses
- Online lay servant courses are offered year round at BeADisciple.com, a ministry of the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, a United Methodist-affiliated university in Kansas. Learn about the available courses, schedules and cost here: Lay Servant Ministries at BeADisciple.com.
- Laity can also take courses from the Part-Time Ministerial Leaders curriculum. Learn more here: Part-Time Ministerial Leaders Course of Study.
For questions about all these options contact your district lay leaders. Please report completion of classes taken outside the district to your district lay leaders to ensure your training records are current.
Southwest District Lay Leaders