School of Lay Speaking Ministries
Each region to the right is linked to the responsible Lay Servant Director and Lay Leader contact information for their region. More information on The Baltimore-Washington Conference Lay Servant ministries training dates and locations will be available on these links as they become available.
Certified Lay Servant
Exhorters in the early Methodist societies challenged and encouraged the members in their spiritual growth. After a sermon by the pastor an exhorter would give practical applications of the sermon to the society members. The term exhorter has been replaced by lay servant in today's UMC.
A lay servant is a professing member of a local church or charge who is ready and desirous to serve the Church and who is well informed on and committed to the Scriptures and the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of the United Methodist Church and who has received specific training to develop skills in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken communication, church and community leadership, and care-giving ministries. (¶266, 2012 Book of Discipline)
Lay servants are to serve the local church or charge (or beyond the local church or charge), or with additional training, serve beyond their local church in other churches, the district or the annual conference. Lay servant training is not just about preaching. In fact, there are many more courses on other areas of ministry.
Training to become a lay servant:
- Talk with your pastor regarding your interest in becoming a lay servant. Lay servants are recommended by their pastor and the church council or charge conference.
- Register for the Lay Servant Basic Course at http://www.bwcumc.org/academy. Your pastor can help you find information on classes. A list of Conference and District Directors of Lay Ministries may be found at www.gbod.org/laity under Ministry of the Laity.
- ¶268, 2012 Book of Discipline. The steps for becoming a Lay Speaker: Certified Lay Servant
- Complete the Lay Servant Basic Course.
- Take one approved advanced training course for lay servant ministries.
- Read ¶¶266-269, 2012 Book of Discipline.