Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries
Equipping the laity for fruitful ministry
A Lay Servant is a professing member of a local United Methodist church who has a desire to grow in spirituality and to develop skills that will increase the effectiveness of his or her ministries in their local church. The classes available through Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) offer the individual ample opportunity to do both. The intent is to provide support for all aspects of ministry, including leadership, caring, spiritual development, mutual encouragement, evangelism, teaching, and preaching. Preaching in the formal sense is not required, and the majority of the Lay Servants in many conferences are not called upon for this particular ministry.
Those who wish to be certified as Lay Speakers must meet additional requirements, as per action of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2012. Most of the classes for Lay Servants and Lay Speakers have been developed by cooperation between the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) and the Association of Conference Directors of Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries (ACDLSM).
LSM sponsors other special events in the North Texas Conference in addition to holding classes, but the major emphasis is to provide Lay Servants and Lay Speakers with the skills that will help them with the work they do in their local church. Our purpose is to help lay servants deepen their relationship with God, and to support them in activities that will engage entire congregations in fruitful ministry.
Jesus taught us to love one another, to care for each other, and to bring the good news to the world. Lay servants work together for encouragement, fellowship, and effectiveness in all our ministry efforts.
North Texas Conference Committee for Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries
Teacher Accreditation Program
To become recognized as an accredited teacher within the conference, a lay speaker must take two courses, and complete the paperwork that provides necessary information and expresses a willingness to take on the concomitant obligation. One course is Lay Speakers Teach Adults: an advanced course from the General Board of Discipleship, the purpose of which is to help individuals become more competent in teaching and leading in a classroom or a small group. The other is Prepare to Teach, which was developed in this conference as a supplement to the GBOD course.
Courses Developed by North Texas Conference LSM
Prepare To Teach
This offering was prepared as a supplement to the GBOD course on teaching adults. The purpose of the course is to help participants prepare to teach Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries courses, or other adult learning opportunities in a church environment.
There is no text. All the material was developed by NTC lay speakers.
The Organization and Polity of The United Methodist Church
The purposes of this course are to examine the development of United Methodist polity from a historical and theological perspective in order to be able to use the Book of Discipline as a working handbook for mission and ministry. The text for this course is The Organization of the United Methodist Church by Jack M. Tuell, a bishop in the UMC. The various sections of the book are presented by individuals who are currently active in the UMC. Therefore, there is a significant expansion on the material presented by Tuell.
Theology, the Basics
This course is actually a study of the book by this title by Alister E. McGrath. The purpose is to explore some of the fundamentals of Christian thinking. Topics that are covered include the vocabulary of Christian theology, the key debates that shaped theological development, and why it is important for the laity to understand Christian theology.
For additional information, contact any of the individuals who have provided their addresses and/or click on any of the site links.
Vial of Life
Lay Speaking/Lay Servant Ministries may wish to publicize the following program in their communities (contact your city government or fire department):
The "Vial of Life" program is designed to provide needed information to assist emergency personnel in situations where you or a family member are unable to do so. The information in the vial container should include medical history, medications and dosage, doctor's name, emergency contact numbers, hospital preference, DNR papers, age, date of birth, Insurance information, and any other information you feel will assist us in treating you. If you wish, you may include a current picture of each participant with the name on the back. This will also assist responders with identification.
The container can be any clear plastic jar (peanut butter or other) that will hold the paperwork and be marked with the Vial of Life sticker. The container should be located in the top shelf of the door of your refrigerator within your home. This location is used as it is a common appliance in all homes and the contents of a refrigerator remain undamaged during a fire. Law enforcement, Fire Departments and Emergency Personnel are trained to look for the "Vial of Life" in your refrigerator. By keeping a sticker on the upper right hand corner of the outside of the refrigerator it will help save time when seconds count. You should also place a sticker on the upper right hand corner of your front door or front window. This lets emergency personnel know that you are a participant.
You may also keep a copy in the glove compartment of your vehicle or in your wallet. This will assist emergency personnel if you are away from home and experience a medical crisis. Remember to keep an updated list of medications for each family participant inside the vial.