Central District Lay Servant School

2018 Fall Lay Servant School - November 10 at Chapel Hill 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.
  • You will learn about the “Ministry of the Baptized” and the Ministries of Leading, Caring, Communicating, and Going into the World (The Great Commission).
  • Required text: Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course Participant’s Book by Sandy Zeigler Jackson and Brian Jackson.

Advanced Course: Prayer

  • Leader: Ruth Esther Vawter, CLS, Chapel Hill UMC.
  • Topics include strengthening and growing your own prayer life, along with leading prayer in worship, leading prayer in other settings, intercessory prayer and more,
  • Required text: None.
  • Prerequisite: Basic

Advanced Course: Preaching

  • Leader: Rev. Colin Cress, Shelbyville First UMC
  • This is a 2-session class. 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.
  • Required Text: From Pew to Pulpit by Clifton Guthrie
  • Prerequisite: Basic

Advanced Course: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts

  • Leader: Kate Biggs, CLS, Linton UMC
  • This course is designed to encourage individuals to discover God's call to ministry in their own lives. You will learn about practical ways to use our gifts in ministries in our congregations and in our communities.
  • Required Text: Each One A Minister by William J. Carter. Please read the text before the class.
  • Prerequisite: Basic

Advanced Course: Worship: Building Disciples and Building Community

  • Leader: Rev. Elizabeth Gilbert, Plainfield UMC.
  • How can we make the worship experience meaningful for every guest, and how can we make sure our opportunities for worship connect with newcomers and the most experienced churchgoers alike? If you plan or lead worship services, or may do so in the future, this class will help you prepare.
  • Required Text: The Special Days and Seasons of the Christian Year by Pat Floyd.
  • Prerequisite: Basic

All required texts must be purchased in advance at Amazon.com or Cokesbury.com.

Where is it being held?

Chapel Hill UMC

963 N Girls School Road, Indianapolis IN, 46214-3669

How do I sign up? 

Online Registration information for the 2018 Fall LSS is available HERE. 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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