Central District Lay Servant School

2018 Fall Lay Servant School - May 12 at Southport UMC

What is Lay Servant School?

Lay Servant School and Lay Servant Ministries are for anyone interested in learning or polishing ministry skills relating to speaking, teaching, leading, caring, and leadership. Lay Servants serve the local church in any way in which their witness, leadership, and service inspire the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective leadership.

What are the courses offered? 

Basic Course

  • This is a prerequisite for any of the Advanced Courses.
  • Leader: Kurt Schoch, CLS, St. Luke’s UMC.
  • Required text: Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course Participant’s Book by Brian Jackson and Sandy Jackson. Available through cokesbury.com and amazon.com
  • You will learn about the “Ministry of the Baptized” and the Ministries of Leading, Caring, Communicating, and Going into the World (The Great Commission).

Advanced Course: Working with your pastor and congregation amid cultural change

  • Leader: Rev. Diane Gattone, Associate District Superintendent
  • What are the biggest challenges and expectations with a new pastor? How can you prepare and foster vibrant relationships in your congregation that cross cultural and generational boundaries? When we find ourselves working with new pastors every three years (or in some cases, more often), lay servants and lay leaders are constantly adapting to new personalities, different leadership styles, and different cultural backgrounds. This workshop will help you understand the trends, identify opportunities, and make the most of them. 
  • Prerequisite: Basic

Advanced Course: Ministering to our Congregations & Communities

  • Leader: Larna Spearman, CLS, University UMC.
  • Are you looking to take your spiritual gifts to the next level? Do you want to explore new ways of using your gifts? Or are you looking to develop an action plan for providing caring ministries in your church and community? In this class, you will explore effective approaches to caring ministries and get the tools you need for developing a plan you can put into action right away. This interactive class will include guest presentations and offer practical advice to help the new Lay Servant, the seasoned pro, and everyone in between, who is looking for a refresher or new ideas.
  • Each participant is asked to bring a Bible and writing materials for note-taking.
  • Prerequisite: Basic

Advanced Course: Preaching  

  • Leader: Rev. Colin Cress, Shelbyville First UMC
  • Required Text: Go Preach! A Primer for Beginning Preachers by John P. Gilbert. Available through cokesbury.com and amazon.com
  • This is a 2-session class, and is one of the 6 advanced classes required to be a Certified Lay Speaker. The first session (which takes place during the Lay Servant School) will focus on a wide range of topics including: What a sermon is and how it differs from other forms of speech, different styles of preaching, preaching from the Lectionary, Scripture, topical personal testimony, and special occasions. You'll also discuss silent prayer time and altar calls, and how styles may vary among congregations and demographics. As preparation, write less than one page about this topic: If I had to preach today, which scripture passage would I choose and why? At the second session (on a future date to be scheduled by the class), each participant will preach a short sermon and receive class feedback. All participants are expected to attend both sessions. Participants are also expected to read Go Preach! A Primer for Beginning Preachers by John P. Gilbert. 
  • Prerequisite: Basic

Where is it being held?

Southport UMC 

1947 E Southport Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46227

How do I sign up? 

Online Registration for the 2018 Spring LSS is available NOW. You may register via snail mail with this FORM.

  • Online registration is strongly preferred. This makes it much easier for our district and conference staff to process all registrations and make sure all of your information is accurately entered in the system.
  • We need to receive all registrations, so we can plan properly for classroom space, lunches, etc.

How much is it?

Registration is $23 per person. This includes lunch and helps us recover costs for custodial, administrative, and other fees. 

Each participant is responsible for purchasing the book that is required for his or her class.

  • All participants are strongly encouraged to purchase books in advance and bring them to the school.
  • Books can be purchased through Cokesbury.com or Amazon.com.
  • If you need assistance, contact Anthony Swinger at anthonyswinger@yahoo.com or 317-372-4991.

Child care is available on a pre-registration basis ONLY.

  • If you think you will need child care, please indicate this when registering. Make sure we have the names and ages of each child. Please also bring a bag lunch for each child. We cannot provide lunch for children because of allergy concerns. 

What is the day's schedule like?

The day will begin with fellowship and refreshments from 8:00 until 8:30. Opening worship will start at 8:30. Classes will last from 9:00 until 2:30, with a brief lunch break in the late morning. We will close with Communion and prayer at 2:30.

How do I become a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker? 

The requirements to be a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker were redefined by the 2016 General Conference.

To become a Certified Lay Servant:

  • Complete the Basic Course and also complete at least one Advanced Course.
  • Each Advanced Course counts as 10 hours of coursework, including class time, worship/fellowship times at the Lay Servant School, and a homework/reading assignment that will vary by class.
  • Submit an annual report outlining your ministry activities to your local Charge Conference.

To maintain CLS status, a candidate must complete a minimum of 10 hours of coursework (at least 1 Advanced Course) every three years.

To become a Certified Lay Speaker:

  • Complete 6 specific Advanced Classes: Preaching 1, Polity, Spiritual Gifts, United Methodist History/Heritage, Worship, and Prayer.
  • Submit an annual report outlining your ministry activities to your local Charge Conference.
  • Additional Preaching classes are not required to become a Certified Lay Speaker but are offered for those who wish to further hone their preaching skills.
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