10/7/15

What Is A Lay Servant?

Lay Servants are to serve the local church or charge in any way in which their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. This includes the interpretation of scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the church.
 In 2012 the General Conference of The United Methodist Church approved legislation to change the name of Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay Servant Ministries. . . . The term servant was chosen because it best describes what Jesus told his disciples in John 13 after he himself had performed the duties of the lowliest servant. 
We should be honored to serve as our Lord and Savior did. We are called to live out our discipleship as servants in leadership!
Lay Servants teach classes, visit the sick and homebound, speak to groups, lead and model servant behavior, and actively seek ways to encourage people to be a part of the mission of the church. 

The levels of lay service include the Local Lay Servant working only within the local congregation and community. The Certified Lay Servant, who works in the local congregation and community but may also speak in the local church or in other churches. Each phase has about 10-12 hours of workshop training based on an assigned book reading.  Additionally, with more training and approval by district committees, a person can become a Certified Lay Speaker. Here is the link to the Oklahoma Conference Lay Servant leaders and program.
One barrier in serving the local church by lay persons was the sensed need of training, people often did not feel they were competent to serve with skill and effectiveness.  The Lay Servant program offers the remedy for those who want to be more active, effective, and trained as they work to share the witness and ministry of the local church.
Lots of information and general resources explaining the ministry here.  If you are interested in serving in the local church as a committed lay person with training and intentionality, ask the pastor or one of the Lay Servants at Barnard Memorial UMC how to get started!

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