Lay ministry is at the core of every church. There is plenty of work to do. Every job is important and every job is a personal ministry. From teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, helping in the nursery, preparing food for church receptions, serving as liturgists, committee work, evangelism, leading Bible studies, ushering, caring for the church property, handling the church’s money and the hundred other jobs that we do, the laity serve God in big and small ways. The Lay Speaking ministries, including that of Lay Minister, revolve around three broad categories: Caring, Leading and Communicating.
Caring: Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise”. Luke 10:37. So ends the story of the good Samaritan and so begins our work as disciples. Or as James put it, What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? James 2:14. The lay speakers combine their words with deeds and find ways to serve in their church and in the community.
Leading: We have different gifts, according to the grace given us....; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently...Romans 12: 6-7. We must have well trained, passionate and compassionate leaders in our church. Lay speakers hone their leadership skills and put them into action within the church.
Communication: Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Exodus 4:10-11. Lay speakers teach, preach and generally carry the Good News to those that will hear. Our message is always based in the Scripture, guided by the Holy Spirit and delivered with our distinctive Wesleyan perspective.
With that in mind, the purpose of this website is:
- To encourage United Methodists to become Local Church Lay Speakers and Certified Lay Speakers.
- To encourage Certified Lay Speakers to become Certified Lay Ministers.
- To guide people to resources for both areas of service.
- To answer questions about the process of becoming a Lay Speaker and a Certified Lay Minister in the United Methodist Church.
My geographic base is the Victoria District, Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Fortunately, God has no geographic bounds and some of the information at this site should be useful in any district and in any conference and most certainly, in any ministry.
Have you been called into lay ministry? Is your heart burning with a desire to know more? To serve better? To love more completely? If so, please consider pursuing a role as a Lay Speaker or even a Certified Lay Minister. I hope that the materials at this website are helpful.
Certified Lay Minister