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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.

Cost:  $23 per person

Registration deadline:  November 3, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Payment Information:  Visa and MasterCard accepted

Please print a copy of your registration for your receipt.

Check payments must be mailed within 7 days of registration.  Please include a copy of your invoice with your check.

Make checks payable to INUMC

Mail to:
Attn:  Lisa Timmerman
301 Pennsylvania Parkway, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46280

Cancellation policy:   cancellations must be received via email to lisa.timmerman@inumc.org by 11:59 pm on November 3, 2019 to be eligible for a refund less processing fee.  No refunds after this date.

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

If you think you will need child care, please indicate this when registering including the names and ages of each child.  Bring a bag lunch for each child.  We cannot provide lunch for children because of allergy concerns.

The requirements to be a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker were defined 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 at least one advanced course every three years. If you’ve taken a class before and would like to take it again as a refresher, that’s perfectly fine and it will meet the requirement.


To become a Certified Lay Speaker:

  • Complete 6 specific Advanced Classes: Preaching, Polity, Spiritual Gifts, United Methodist Heritage, Worship, & Prayer.
  • Submit an annual report outlining your ministry activities to your local Charge Conference.

The day will begin with fellowship and refreshments from 8:00 until 8:15.  Opening worship will start at 8:15.  Classes will last from 8:45 until 2:15 with a brief lunch break in the late morning.  Closing worship at 2:15 will include Communion and presentation of certificates.

Class Choices:

Basic Course

  • This is a prerequisite for the Advanced Courses.
  • Leader: Kim Williams, CLS
  • 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 Ziegler Jackson and Brian Jackson.

Advanced Course: Worship – Building Disciples & 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. You will learn approaches to make the worship experience richer and more vibrant in both contemporary and traditional settings. This is one of the six advanced classes required for the Certified Lay Speaker designation.
  • Required text: Worshiping with United Methodists by Hoyt Hickman.

Advanced Course: Preaching – From Pew to Pulpit

  • 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. This is one of the six advanced classes required for the Certified Lay Speaker designation.
  • Required Text: From Pew to Pulpit by Clifton Guthrie

Advanced Course: From Fear to Inclusion, Loving and Leading as Jesus’ Followers (Part One)

  • Leader: Rev. Michelle Cobb, Executive Director, E4Potential Living
  • The goal of this class is to assist Lay Servants with identifying and addressing fears that inhibit them from reaching out to others who are different; fears that hinder inclusion from being realized within the Body of Christ as well as in the larger community. This class will cover material from the first three chapters of the required text. Part Two, a separate advanced class, will be offered at the Spring 2020 Lay Servant School and will be a continuation of the discussion in this class.
  • Required Text: Fear of the Other by Bishop William H. Willimon.

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

For more information contact Anthony Swinger at anthonyswinger@yahoo.com
Click here to go to INUMC website.
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