Are you a lay person feeling a call to serve God as a disciple of Jesus Christ in ways other than as a clergy person? There are a variety of formal ways of being in ministry as a lay person in the United Methodist Church.
If you have a few minutes, watch this informative video from the General Board of Discipleship. As you will see, there are many opportunities for service!
Laity serve many functions at the local church level and may chair and serve on a wide variety of teams and committees.
The local church Lay Leader is a vital person in the congregation. The Lay Leader works with the pastor to help guide the local congregation into healthy and holy ways of being the Body of Christ.
The local church Lay Member of Conference serves the congregation by attending Annual Conference and helping to interpret matters beyond the local church to the congregation.
Beyond the local church, there are District Lay Leaders and Associate Lay Leaders, as well as a Conference Lay Leader. One of the Vermont District Lay Leaders is Tricia Waldron and another person will serve with her as Co-Lay-Leader. There are also opportunities to serve as Associate Lay Leaders around the District.
For an interesting and informative PowerPoint presentation about lay leaders and lay members, click here.
Lay Servant Ministries is about more than speaking--it's about ministry! Members of local churches take Lay Servant Ministries courses that help them develop leadership skills and ministry gifts. There are Certified Lay Servants, Certified Lay Speakers, and Certified Lay Ministers. Many changes have been made in this program since 2012, so please see additional information on the New England Conference website and the Discipleship Ministries website.
The Certified Lay Minister serves in a leadership capacity as part of a ministerial team led by a clergyperson. The District Superintendent assigns the Certified Lay Minister to a particular ministry based on the person's gifts. To become a Certified Lay Minister, a person works through the District Board of Ministry and must complete 4 courses for certification. To find out more about this ministry, visit the Discipleship Ministries website, Certified Lay Minister. If after you have prayed about this ministry and you discern that this might be a path for you to follow, be in touch with your pastor or your District Superintendent, the Rev. Brigid Farrell.
Deaconesses and Home Missioners are lay women and men who are called by God to a full-time vocation in service to those who are marginalized or in need. They are commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries to ministries of love, justice, and service. Deaconesses and Home Missioners find their own positions (paid or volunteer) in helping professions or church-related vocations.
There are many ways to serve in mission in a variety of roles in long or short-term service. The General Board of Global Ministries launched a new program in 2014 for young adults: Generation Transformation.