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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    ministries

    Lay Servant Ministries FAQ

    What is Lay Servant Ministries?

    Lay Servant Ministries is one of the most significant lay leadership development programs already available within the United Methodist 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.

    Types of Lay Servant Ministry:

    Certified Lay Servants
    Certified Lay Speaker
    Certified Lay Minister


    Certified Lay Servants

    A certified lay servant is a professing member of a local church or charge or a baptized participant of a recognized United Methodist collegiate ministry or other United Methodist 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 United Methodist Church.  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 the local church or charge) 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, United Methodist collegiate ministry, or other United Methodist ministry setting:

    • 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.
    • Assist in the distribution of the elements of Holy.
    • Teaches the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of The United Methodist Church.

    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 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.
    • District committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval.

    Certified Lay Speaker

    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 ¶341.1  The certified lay speaker serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay servant ministries.

    Requirements for certification:

    • Certified as a lay servant.
    • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation.
    • Completion of a track of study
      - Leading Worship
      - Leading Prayer
      - Discovering Spiritual Gifts
      - Preaching
      - United Methodist Heritage
      - United Methodist Polity

    Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval after interview with and recommendation from the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries.

    Requirements for renewal

    • Annual report and 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.

    Certified Lay Minister

    A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant or certified lay missioner who is called and equipped to serve as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson.  Some areas of service may include, but are not limited to:

    • Caring for the congregation
    • Developing new faith communities
    • Conducting public worship
    • Leading small groups
    • Establishing outreach ministries
    • Serving as a Class Leader
    • Preaching the Word
    • Assisting in program leadership
    • Visitation or Care ministries
    • Engaging in specialized ministries after appropriate training such as in parish nursing and church planting

    The certified lay minister serves to enhance the quality of ministry, much like a class leader did in early Methodism, through service in the local church, circuit, or cooperative parish, or by expanding team ministry in other churches and charges.  As with lay ministry in early Methodism, the certified lay minister uses his or her spiritual gifts as evidence of God’s grace.

    Requirements for certification:

    • Certified as a lay servant or lay missioner.
    • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation
    • Completion of Modules 1 – 4, Certified Lay Ministry training
    • District Superintendent recommendation
    • Appropriate screening and assessment
    • Interview with and recommendation from district committee on Ordained Ministry
    • Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval.

    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 biennially (once every two years).
    • District Superintendent recommendation.
    • Every two years interview with and recommendation from district committee on Ordained Ministry
    • Conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries approval.

    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."