The Lay Servant Ministry program serves the Parsons District in a variety of ways. Located in the very southeast corner of the conference, Parsons District is blessed and challenged to have a number of small-membership congregations.
Certified Lay Servants have a strong tradition of serving in district churches of all sizes. The relatively recent refocusing of the program to include a broader range of church support (over and above lay speaking) has helped to enhance the Lay Servant Ministries. Although district lay servants serve in many capacities, one of the important ministries involves serving small churches in pastoral roles. In many cases churches within the district, those with limited resources and smaller congregations, call on part-time Lay Servants to fill pulpits.
The Certified Lay Servant program has proven to be an effective and blessed way to meet those needs. Through scheduled consultations with the district superintendent and strong mentoring relationships with designated elders, Certified Lay Servants are lovingly guided and developed into positions of leadership. Training is provided to aspiring and current lay servants through scheduled introductory and advanced courses. About 30 leaders, some from outside the district, typically attend and complete the courses, which vary in topic to provide a wide range of information and assistance. Training sessions are normally offered every fifth quarter, or about every 15 months.The Certified Lay Servant program has served as an effective way to marry those individuals that are called to enhance their service to their God, church and others with the needs of their local church. As we rededicate ourselves to the new life in Christ's birth, let us pause to consider new opportunities within our service to God. Becoming a lay servant provides blessings to both the servant and the church being served.