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Lay Servant Ministries

Five ceramic bowls

Certified Lay Servant
Annual Reports

Certified Lay Servant Report HERE
Certified Lay Speaker Report HERE
Certified Lay Minister Report HERE

Levels of Certification in
Lay Servant Ministries

Click to read more

CERTIFIED LAY SERVANT

The Certified Lay Servant is committed to scripture, the doctrine, heritage, organization and life of The United Methodist Church. They have received specific training to witness to the Christian faith through spoken communication, to lead within a church and community, and to provide caring ministry. A Certified Lay Servant must be a professing member of a local church or charge or baptized participant of recognized United Methodist collegiate ministry.

To become a Certified Lay Servant, you must:

  • Obtain recommendation from the pastor and church council or charge conference in which you hold membership.
  • Complete the Introduction to Lay Servant Ministries: The BASIC Course.
  • Complete an advanced lay servant ministries course.
  • Apply to and have qualifications reviewed by the district committee on lay servant ministries.

To maintain Certified Lay Ministry status, you must:  

  • Submit an annual report and renewal application to the charge conference or church council and to the district committee on lay servant ministries giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a Certified Lay Servant.
  • Obtain recommendation for renewal from the pastor and church council or charge conference of the local church or other UM ministry you hold membership.
  • Complete a lay servant ministries advanced course every three years.

CERTIFIED LAY SPEAKER

The Certified Lay Speaker serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay servant ministries. A certified lay speaker is a certified lay servant whose call has been affirmed by the conference committee on lay servant ministries to serve in the church in pulpit supply. (See The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church ¶341.1)

To become a Certified Lay Speaker, you must:

  • Be a Certified Lay Servant.
  • Obtain recommendation from the pastor and church council or charge conference of the local church in which you hold membership.
  • Complete a course of study including courses on leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching, United Methodist heritage, and polity, and/or other courses as determined by the conference committee on lay servant ministries.
  • Interview with and obtain recommendation from the district committee on lay servant ministries for approval and certification. District interview deadlines differ. Final approval will be done at the Annual Conference Lay Servant Ministry Director meeting. Please check with your district committee chair for dates.

To maintain as a Certified Lay Speaker, you must:

  • Submit an annual report and renewal application to the charge conference or church council and to the district committee on lay servant ministries giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a certified lay speaker
  • Obtain recommendation for continued recognition as a certified lay speaker from the pastor and church council or charge conference of the local church or other United Methodist ministry in which you hold membership.
  • Complete a lay servant ministries advanced course in the last three years.
  • In the last three years, have been interviewed and obtained recommendation for renewal as a certified lay speaker from the district committee on lay servant ministries and approval of the conference committee on lay servant ministries for recertification.

CERTIFIED LAY MINISTER

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Lay Minister, please contact your district superintendent or district and conference committee on lay servant ministries.

Questions?

Please contact Michigan Conference Lay Servant Ministries Co-Directors Jody Pratt and John Hart

District Directors

Central Bay: Douglas Hasse & Rob Richards

East Winds:

Greater Detroit: Wilma Fleming

Greater Southwest:

Heritage: Anne Hanna

Mid-Michigan: Randy Coller

Midwest: Jody Pratt

Northern Skies: TBD

Northern Waters: Tom Peterson

Growing in your faith

Lay Servant Ministries is one of the significant lay leadership development programs available within the United Methodist connection. Through this system of equipping and empowering, Lay servants have the opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ who then go and make other disciples. Lay Servant ministries can be a significant component of any discipleship system providing training in Hospitality, Offer Christ, Purpose and Engagement.

A stained glass window of John Wesley. Photo by Ronny Perry, UMNS

Becoming a Lay Servant

Classes can be taken in a variety of locations and dates. The Michigan Lay Servant Ministry committee organizes classes to fit needs of participants, specific requests for a topic, and to meet certification requirements. Some classes can be taken online (beadisciple.com/lay-servant-ministries). BASIC and PREACHING are not offered electronically. (Please check with your district committee as some do not accept online classes, or limit the number of online classes.) When an individual takes an online class it is the responsibility of the individual to provide completion/certification information to the district committee.

Lay servant classes generally fall into the following categories: Introduction to Lay Ministry, Spiritual Gifts, United Methodist Heritage, United Methodist Polity, Leading Worship, Leading Prayer, Preaching.

Everyone must take a BASIC course before becoming a Certified Lay Servant. Districts post class offerings online with registration information available. Participants may take classes in any location but are responsible to provide their local district with proof of completion.

Upcoming LSM Classes

Please see the list below for available courses, times and locations. Click the links within the table for registration. Please note the requirements below.

The detailed process of becoming a Lay Servant and certification levels can be found on the left, and the Lay Servant Ministries Equipping Resources booklet.

Lay Servant Ministries Classes

A list of all Lay Servant Ministries Classes in Michigan. Find one that fits your schedule and location.
DistrictCourseDate & TimeLocationContact PersonCostRegister
Central BayIntro to Lay Ministries: The BASIC CourseOct. 27 & Nov. 10

9 AM-2 PM
Essexville: St. Luke'sMerry Henderson$10, if after Oct. 17 $20Click to Register
Central BayAdvanced: Called to PreachOct. 27 & Nov. 10

8:30 AM-2 PM
Saginaw: FirstMerry Henderson$10, if after Oct. 17 $20Click to Register
Central BayAdvanced: Discover Your Spiritual GiftsOct. 20 & 27

8:30 AM-2 PM
Mt. Pleasant: FirstMerry Henderson$10, if after Oct. 17 $20Click to Register
Greater DetroitYouth: Intro to Lay Ministries: The BASIC CourseAug. 18 & 25

10 AM-4:30 PM
Farmington Hills: Nardin ParkWilma Fleming$45Click to Register
Greater DetroitYouth: Each One A MinisterAug. 18 & 25

10 AM-4:30 PM
Farmington Hills: Nardin ParkWilma Fleming$45Click to Register
Greater DetroitYouth: Leading PrayerAug. 18 & 25

10 AM-4:30 PM
Farmington Hills: Nardin ParkWilma Fleming$45Click to Register
MidwestIntro to Lay Ministries: The BASIC CourseOct. 2, 9, 16, 23

7-9 PM
Grand Haven: Church of the DunesJody Pratt$25Click to Register
MidwestAdvanced: Worship Planning/DesignOct. 2, 9, 16, 23

7-9 PM
Grand Haven: Church of the DunesJody Pratt$25Click to Register
MidwestAdvanced: StorytellingOct. 2, 9, 16, 23

7-9 PM
Grand Haven: Church of the DunesJody Pratt$25Click to Register
Northern WatersIntro to Lay Ministries: The BASIC CourseOct. 19 & 20

Fri. 6 PM-Sat. 3 PM
Lake Louise CampTom PetersonRegistration Info Coming
Northern WatersAdvance: Accountable DiscipleshipOct. 19 & 20

Fri. 6 PM-Sat. 3 PM
Lake Louise CampTom PetersonRegistration Info Coming

Some Advanced Courses, approved by Discipleship Ministries are available online through beadisciple.com. Look for Affiliation of Certified Lay Ministry and Lay Servant Ministries.

Requirements:

  • Pre-registration is required for all classes.
  • Each course includes 10 hours of class time as well as outside reading.
  • For credit toward certification, participants must attend the entire course and complete all work.
  • Please bring a Bible, pen and notebook.
  • For your convenience, you may participate in courses outside of your home district – just make sure to share the course details and a copy of the certificate with your home district director.