“Here I am, Lord….Maybe…”
Lay Servant Ministries
Do you ever hear a call to do more than fill a pew? Do you feel at a loss to know what else you can do to contribute to your church life? Ever wonder how the United Methodist Church (UMC) relates to other denominations? What about why the pastor you REALLY liked got transferred to another congregation? How about an organized way to built relationships outside of your own congregation? Where do you go for answers?
Maybe Lay Servant Ministries has at least one answer for you.
“But,” you say, “I don’t think I want to be a Lay Servant.”
Or maybe you already are! Remember at the end of the "Wizard of Oz" where the scarecrow, tin man and lion were told they already had their desired traits, just no testimonial to that status? Often, we see folks doing all the tasks associated with a Lay Servant, but they have not completed training through a formal process.
OR maybe you just want to know more about the church. Either way the LSM (Lay Servant Ministries) training courses may have your answer.
Lay Servant Ministries is a program in the UMC that provides training to assist you in fulfilling your call to ministry. Courses start with an introductory basic course and several categories designed to prepare the lay servant.
- Discovering your spiritual gifts
- UMC heritage
- UMC polity (our discipline)
- Leading worship
- Leading prayer
These are designed to prepare our Certified Lay Speakers as a minimum. Other classes exist, as well:
- Leading missional small groups
- Understanding communion
- Understanding baptism
- Social principals of the UMC
- Using multi-media in worship
- Leading Bible study
- Lay pastoral care giving
- Conflict resolution
- Biblical storytelling
- Teaching adults
In addition to the learning opportunity each of these presents, the classroom setting makes for a great time to meet other church brothers and sisters outside your own congregation. On the other hand, if you like less direct interaction, many of these classes are offered in an online setting (beadisciple.com
Those of us active in Lay Servant Ministry would be thrilled to welcome you into our numbers. But even if you just want a place to learn more about how the church works, and are not ready to be actively involved with Lay Servant Ministries, I am sure you will find value in the course material as a growth opportunity in your church life.
Be sure to watch the conference calendar
and the Lay Servant Ministries page
on the conference website for a training opportunity to attend.
Kirk Pemberton, Topeka District Director Lay Servant Ministries