Lay Servant Training Offered in Houston Area in August


Plan now to attend the Lay Servant Training Basic Course August 27 at Cypress Trails UMC in Spring.
Finding the hospitality room crammed with an eager group of laity at Annual Conference this year was more than thrilling for Conference Director of Lay Ministry Anna Rohde. “All the seats were taken and people were standing in the back of the room,” she recalls with a smile, ”as people stopped in to learn more about the Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Ministry programs.” She knew many were there because they desire to do more as leaders across the conference, and others were answering God’s call on their life in a new way.
Seeing God at Work
“Since entering the Certified Lay Ministry program requires Lay Servant Training as a first step,” Anna explains, “I was determined to find a date and place to hold a Lay Servant training in the Houston area.” She shares that she could sense God guiding her steps when Rev. Luis Ramirez of Cypress Trails UMC in Spring, called seeking CLM training for his Spanish speaking members. “He needed qualified educated leaders to assist him at his growing church -- the majority of whom speak Spanish.” She shares, “it worked out to offer a Lay Servant Basic Course Class August 27 at Rev. Ramirez’s home church where he will conduct the Basic Course in Spanish and Rev. Mariann Rayne will lead the Basic Course in English.” Rev. Karen Jones in the NW District just helped train eight leaders, and estimates moving up to 50 leaders a year through the basic and advanced trainings. “We probably train at least 120 leaders annually across Texas, but I wish that number was much higher. I am working hard to get the word out about the many opportunities that could be available in all of the districts.”
The Role of Laity
Creating Transforming Lay and Clergy Leaders is one of the focus areas of the Texas Annual Conference. As Center Director Dr. Jesse Brannen shares, “Reactive leadership is no longer sufficient to sustain the church today, so the Center for Congregational Excellence advocates ways to help laity be proactive leaders who are equipped with the skill set to strengthen the local church. We are particularly excited to offer this training in Spanish next month and pray the class will be full of leaders who will help us expand to meet the growing need and opportunities for Hispanic ministry.”
What is expected of a Lay Servant?
Local (Church) Lay Servants

  • Support, serve and minister to the local church;
  • Look for leadership opportunities in the local church;
  • Must file a report with their Charge (Church) Conference every year; and
  • Take a refresher course every three years.
Certified Lay Servants
  • Support, serve and minister to the local church and beyond;
  • Can be utilized by other congregations;
  • Look for leadership opportunities in the local church and beyond;
  • Must file a report with their Charge or Church Conference every year; and
  • Must take at least one Advanced Course every three years to maintain certification.
Notes Jesse, “A Certified Lay Minister is recognized and certified to serve beyond their local church.” After attending Certified Lay Minister sessions recently in the NW District Blair Curry has been fired up about telling others in the local church to follow suit. Shares Blair, “I was raised in the Episcopal church, so this was a wonderful way to learn about Methodism and the connectional system. I came to the class with a certain expectation and enjoyed it so much I found myself wishing it was longer than part of a day. Rev. Karen Jones brings so much to the experience and shared with us a behind-the-scenes look at what she does to prepare for a baptism or engage the youth or older adults in unique ways. I highly recommend people attend these classes because you cannot get the same experience by just reading a book about these topics.” In addition to the training, she will benefit from being in the network when a church has the need to fill the pulpit in her area. “On my first attempt in the pulpit I was jelly on the inside and sure that I talked way to fast,” she admits, “but this ongoing training is building my confidence for the next time I am honored to present a sermon. I am urging others to take the training and know that more people would do it if it were offered near their local church.”
Register Now for Spanish or English Training
The August 27 Basic Course is the foundation for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. Register online to attend from 9am-6pm at Cypress Trails UMC, 22801 Aldine Westfield in Spring. The class fee of $26 covers all materials. For more information contact Anna at 903-758-7003 or the host church at 281-353-2436. Learn More