Central Massachusetts District
District Director of Lay Servant Ministries
Fall 2017 Lay Servant Ministry Courses announced.
The Central Mass District will be offering a Lay Servant Ministry Academy on September 30, October 14 and October 21 from 1-6 PM at Westford UMC, 10 Church St, Westford, MA
We will be offering 3 courses: Basic Lay Servant Ministry, Lay Servants Lead Worship and Lay Servants Lead Bible Study. All three sessions are required to complete the course.
Basic Lay Servant Ministry- This course is foundational for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts as God intended and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in their discipleship.
Leading worship: This course focuses on the ministry of the Lay Servant who either regularly or occasionally leads a group or congregation in worship.
Leading Bible Study: This course opens a new world for many lay servants who have not had professional training in biblical interpretation. It reminds us as United Methodists that Bible study and biblical interpretation are a core part of our spiritual journey.
Please click here for the Registration form. The registration deadline is September 16th.
In addition, we will be offering a 2 day Basic Lay Servant Ministry course on 2 dates November 4 from 9-4 and November 18th from 9-3 at the Westboro UMC, 120 W Main St. You must be present on both days to complete the course.
Please click here for the registration form. The registration deadline is October 21.
We are also looking ahead to 2018 and have set the following dates and courses with more details to follow.
Spring 2018: 4/7, 4/14 and 4/21 at the Qunisigamund UMC. The courses will be Basic Lay Servant Ministry, Accountable Discipleship and Preaching
Fall 2018: 10/13, 11/3 and 11/10; at the Oxford UMC
We will be offering Basic Lay Servant Ministry, Class Leaders and Spiritual Gifts at this session
About Lay Servant Ministries
Lay Speaking Ministries is now Lay Servant Ministries! General Conference 2012 agreed to a name change from Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay SERVANT Ministries. During the legislative process a section was added to maintain the role of lay SPEAKER as pulpit supply and set requirements for persons desiring to fill that role. Click here to read the more about the change.
Local Church Lay Servants serve in and through their local churches. To be recognized as a local church lay servant, one must be recommended by his/her pastor and church council or charge conference and complete the Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course. Each participant must reapply annually, reporting on service rendered and learning achieved during the year. Every three years the lay servant must complete a refresher course or continuing education course relating to his/her ministry.
Certified Lay Servants serve in their own churches, in other churches, and through district or conference projects and programs. This offers them the opportunity to expand their outreach and to enrich their ministry through the various advanced courses. To be recognized as a certified lay servant, one must be recommended by his/her pastor and church council or charge conference and complete the Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course as well as one Lay Servant Advanced Course. Each lay servant must report and be renewed annually, and he/she must complete at least one Advanced Course every three years.
Specialized Track: Lay Speaker – A lay speaker is a Certified Lay Servant who is called and equipped to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with the Book of Disciplines (2012) ¶341.1. Lay speakers will have specific training as listed in this amendment, and will be interviewed by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries. In the New England Annual Conference, the following comprise the training requirements for the Lay Speaker track: Discovering Spiritual Gifts, Leading Worship, Leading Prayer, Preaching, United Methodist Heritage, and United Methodist Polity
Important Reminder: A refresher course is required every three years to remain a Local Church Lay Servant. To become a Certified Lay Servant and serve outside your local congregation, you must take one advanced course and continue by taking at least one advanced course every three years. All Local Church and Certified Lay Servants must submit an annual report of activities to their respective charge conference.
Lay Speakers must complete an annual report. Click here for a form that you can download and complete on your computer.