Section XI. Lay Speaking Ministries
¶ 267. Lay Speaking-1. A lay speaker (local church or certified) is a professing member of a local church or charge who is ready and desirous to serve the Church and who is well informed on and committed to the Scriptures and the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church and who has received specific training to develop skills in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken communication, church and community leadership, and care-giving ministries. An applicant must be active in the support of the local church or charge.
2. Lay speakers are to serve the local church or charge (or beyond the local church or charge) in any way in which their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship, including the interpretation of the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the church.
3. Through continued study and training a lay speaker should prepare to undertake one or more of the following functions, giving primary attention to service within the local church or charge.
a) To take initiative in giving leadership, assistance, and support to the program emphases of the church.
b) To lead meetings for prayer, training, study, and discussion when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay speaking.
c) To conduct, or assist in conducting, services of worship, and present sermons and addresses when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay speaking.
d) To relate to appropriate committees and ministry areas in providing leadership for congregational and community life and fostering care-giving ministries.
4. Lay speaker training courses shall be those recommended by the General Board of Discipleship or alternates approved by the conference committee on lay speaking. Such training should enable ministries with all language and cultural groups as appropriate.
5. It is recommended that a service of commitment be held for persons recognized as local church or certified lay speakers.