Lay Servants - CMA

Central Massachusetts District
District Director of Lay Servant Ministries
Beth Ferguson

CMA Lay Servant Ministry Committee announces courses for Fall 2019

  • Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course
  • Advanced Course: You Can Preach
  • Advanced Course: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection

Dates and Time

Each course will meet on three Saturdays: October 19, October26 and November 2. All classes will meet from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Wellspring UMC, 440 Main St., Shrewsbury, MA

Registration and Course Fee

$45.00 (Checks payable to: The New England Conference).

Please mail the registration form and your check by October 6 to Beth Ferguson, 388 Oakland Parkway, Franklin, MA 02038.

Upon mailing of your registration, please call or email your name and course selection to Beth – (508) 528-7701 -

Course Descriptions

  • Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course: 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.
  • You Can Preach: This course is designed for those who have not completed formal preaching training and are called upon to preach in a pastor’s absence.
  • Life Together in the United Methodist Connection: This course gives participants and overview of the structure and organization of the United Methodist Church. It is recommended that you obtain a copy of The Book of Discipline for the course. This is a course required for the Certified Lay Speaker designation.

Winter Academy 2020 - preliminary information:

The 2 day Winter Academy will take place January 25th and February 8th , 2020 from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, in the northwest corner of the district, location to be announced. The courses to be offered include the Basic course, Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition and Lay Servants as Christian Transformational Leaders.


About Lay Servant Ministries

Certified Lay Servants - 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. 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. Each lay servant must report and be renewed annually, and he/she must complete at least one Advanced Course every three years.

Certified 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 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 GiftsLeading Worship, Leading Prayer, 1 of the Preaching courses, 1 of the United Methodist Heritage courses, and United Methodist Polity

Important Reminder: 

To remain a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker you must take one advanced course and continue by taking at least one advanced course every three years. All Certified Lay Servants and speakers must submit an annual report of activities to their respective charge conference. Certified Lay Speakers must also be interviewed by the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries every 3 years.

Annual Reports: An annual report is required. Click either Lay Servant Ministry or Certified Lay Speaker for the forms.

Certified Lay Ministers - A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant or certified lay missioner (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference), who is called and equipped to conduct public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new and existing faith communities, preach the Word, lead small groups, or establish community outreach ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person. A certified lay minister is assigned by a district superintendent in accordance with ¶419.2.

The certified lay minister serves to enhance the quality of ministry, much like a class leader did in early Methodism through service in the local church, circuit, or cooperative parish, or by expanding team ministry in other churches and charges. As with lay ministry in early Methodism, the certified lay minister uses his or her spiritual gifts as evidence of God’s grace. Both the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries are involved in the process of certification of Lay Ministers.