Lay Servant Ministry



Lay Servant Ministries 2018

God calls every one of us to proclaim the presence and power of God through all that we say and do. How is God calling you to serve?  With so many avenues of training, Lay Servant Ministries (Previously called Lay Speaking Ministries) offers you a valuable education in multiple ministry areas.
A Lay Servant is … 
  • An active, supportive (professing) member of a United Methodist church;
  • Eager to serve the church, community, and world; 
  • Well-informed on Scripture and on the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church;
  • Committed to witnessing through church and community leadership, care-giving ministries, and spoken communication; 
  • Willing to improve his/her skills by training for service.
Lay Servant Ministry (LSM) is more than just speaking!
This ministry goes beyond filling in for the pastor or speaking in public. Lay Servant Ministries offer many options for serving in roles other than the traditional pulpit supply.  Teaching, serving, training, leading, participating, caring, loving, and communicating are now integral parts of Lay Servant Ministries. With so many avenues of training, Lay Servant Ministries offers valuable education equipping United Methodists for all facets of lay ministry.
Consider taking a class.
From time to time classes are offered in various subject areas throughout the Conference.  Starting with the Basic Class, one can then go on to advanced classes and go on to broader service. God calls us and through continued development equips us to be Lay Servant Ministers.
Lay Ministry in the United Methodist Church: 
All Local and Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers and Certified Lay Ministers are first Professing Members of a local congregation.

Titles and Requirements:

Local Church Lay Servant
Serve primarily in the local Congregation
  1. Approved by Pastor and Charge Conference
  2. Completes the Basic Course in LSM
  3. Files an annual report
  4. Takes a refresher course every three years
Certified Lay Servant
Local Church Lay Servants who have taken an advanced course in LSM, and serve in the local congregation and beyond.
  1. Approved by Pastor and Charge Conference
  2. Takes an Advanced course after the Basic course
  3. Files an annual report
  4. Completes 1 advanced course every 3 years
Lay Speakers
Certified Lay Servants who provide pulpit supply
  1. Approved by Pastor and Charge Conference
  2. Completes the required advanced courses for Lay Speaker in the areas of leading worship,  leading prayer, preaching, discovering spiritual gifts, United Methodist Heritage, United Methodist Polity, and other courses as might be required by the  YAC.
  3. Interviews with District Committee on LSM
  4. Approved by Annual Conference Committee on LSM
  5. Files an annual report
  6. Every 3 years completes 1 advanced course and interviews with the District Committee on LSM
Certified Lay Minister
Certified Lay Speaker or Servant who is assigned by the District Superintendent to a particular ministry within the district or annual conference
(Certified Lay Servant recommended)
  1. Be certified as a lay servant, lay missioner (or equivalent as defined by the conference)
  2. Obtain written recommendation from the pastor and the charge council or charge conference of the church where membership is held.
  3. Complete a track of study for certified lay ministers relevant  to your assignment as defined by Discipleship Ministries or the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry in collaboration with Discipleship Ministries and the conference committee on lay servant ministries or equivalent structure.
  4. Receive a letter of recommendation from your district superintendent.
  5. Have all requirements for certification, including appropriate screening and assessment, as defined by the annual conference, reviewed by the conference committee on lay servant ministries, or equivalent structure, for referral to the district committee on ordained ministry for examination of persons who have applied in writing to be certified lay ministers and to make recommendation for certification (see paragraph. 666.10 Book of Discipline 2016). After the district committee on ordained ministry interviews you, the district committee on ordained ministry will make a recommendation to the conference committee on lay servant ministries for final certification by that committee.
  6. Full certification and recertification requirements are contained in paragraph. 268 Book of Discipline 2016.
Approved Courses for Lay Servant Ministry 
With the geographical area of the Yellowstone Conference we need to be liberal in allowing individuals to take courses where ever and however they can.  The advantage of an in-residence course is the interaction with the instructor and other class members.  However, as we go forward and as more on-line web based courses and opportunities develop we need to embrace those opportunities.  Additionally we need to embrace courses that develop our laity in the areas of teaching, serving, training, leading, participating, caring, loving, and communications
Currently Approved Courses: 2018
  1. Approved are any Advanced Courses as listed on the Lay Speaking Ministries Web Site. Also any courses listed in the annual “Lay Ministry Equipping Resources Catalog” (found on the Upper Room website) that are the preferred courses for first course work for individuals seeking Advanced Certification. This Catalog lists both in residence and on-line courses as well as Alternative Advanced Courses. Available on the Discipleship Ministries Web Site. 
  2. Approved are On Line/Web Based Courses as reviewed and approved by the YAC Conference Discipling Team.
  3. Approved are Conference, District or Circuit developed courses upon meeting the approval of the Curriculum Review Committee.
  4. Approved are courses not listed on the Lay Speaking Ministries Web Site or developed in the  conference that are Web Based to include:
    1. The Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship (Southwester College) and the Discipleship Ministries as announced on
    2. United Methodist Communications Training ( as it pertains to lay development of communications skills (all skills, speaking, written, and web    based).         
    3. The Illif “Small Group Leadership course by Podcast to include an end of course five hour meeting. Based on the “The Christian Small  Group Leaded” by Thomas Hawkins,
    4. The Saint Paul Lecture series conducted in Helena, MT.
    5. Conference Spiritual Formation events, retreats that are structured to address the aspect(s) of Lay Servant Ministries in a particular area or areas. Examples of past event subjects are Servant Leadership, Discipleship, Wesleyan History, and various workshops such as Trustees, SPRC, Christian Education and Finance.
  5. In Residence Courses to include courses developed by: 
    1. The United Methodist Women’s Mission U (formerly School of Christian Missions). Requires the Basic Lay Servant Ministry Class and at least one Lay Servant Ministry advanced class be completed before credit for Mission U courses count as advanced course work.
    2. Courses that would be available and approved from other Conferences to include in-residence and web based courses as long as an enrollee can meet all requirements of the course, 
  6. Retake of the Basic Course. If a Certified Lay Servant has not taken the current Basic Course, credit as an Advanced Course can be given for this course.  Rational being that the individual is provided with information in which to use to encourage others to take the course. 

Education On Line:

Be a DiscipleCourses:  On line Advanced courses approved by the GBOD. Courses offered by Southwestern College, Richard and Julia Wilkie Institute. On the home page go to “Lay Speaking Ministries for current approved class offerings

Iliff Scholl of Theology advanced course “Small Group Leadership”. This Advanced Course podcast presentation requires the online work with a follow on local group session. A great Advanced Course that can be conducted by a group at the local church level. Site instructions: click on “connect”, click on “Illif clips”, “audio clips” scroll down to Iffif courses, click on “Small group leadership lay ministry course. This is a free course.


Summer Early Fall

Lay Servant Ministries

Several times a year, hosts online courses which have been approved by the General Board of Discipleship as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries. These are designated by the GBOD logo “Learning and Leading.” While anyone is welcome to enroll for a great learning experience only those who have completed the Lay Servant Basic Course and have been certified as UM Lay Servants are eligible for re-certification through these courses. Some of the courses are also approved as advanced courses towards the Lay Speaker status. Listed below are the courses anticipated for 2014. If dates are not listed then dates may have not yet have been set. To inquire, email

These first courses meet the requirement for Certified Lay Servant (one advanced course every 3 years). In addition, these  courses meet the requirements for the Lay Speaker status. .

ADVANCED Courses that also fill a requirement for Certified Lay Speaker Certification

Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (Polity course) –  September 4-21, 2018 

Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (Heritage course) – September 24 – October 12, 2018 

Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts (Spiritual Gifts course) – July 16-27, 2018 

Your Ministry of Leading Worship 101 (Leading Worship course) – August 20 – September 14, 2018  |   

The following courses are advanced courses in Lay Servant Ministries which meet the requirement for Certified Lay Servant (one advanced course every 3 years)..

Afire With God: Becoming Spirited Stewards – August 13-24, 2018  | 

  Biblical Storytelling I – September 17-30, 2018 

Biblical Storytelling II – 

Children of Abraham – November 5 – December 8, 2018 

Come to the Table – October 1-13,2018 

Come to the Waters – September 4-15, 2018  |  

 (new course!Leading Bible Study: Biblical Interpretation – June 11-22, 2018  |  

 Teach Adults – August 20-31, 2018  |   



2018 Courses Currently Scheduled within the Yellowstone Conference

None Currently Scheduled



Discipleship Ministries, Lay Servant Ministries webpage   arrow over to Leadership Resources, scroll down and select Ministry of the Laity.

The Upper Room Bookstore   To access the Upper Room Lay Servant Ministry Catalog, on the home page upper right click on catalog and select  Lay Ministry

The Cokesbury Bookstore



Carlton "Butch" Bennett

YAC Director Lay Servant Ministries