The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Monday, October 15, 2018
Lay Servant Ministries
Quick Links:
Lay Servant Training 2018
(AWFC-UMC 12/02/2017) - There will be no Conference Blue Lake Training in 2018. We will hold a large training event at First United Methodist Church, Montgomery from Thursday, July 12, 2018, through Saturday, July 14, 2018, as we host the Southeastern Jurisdiction Annual Conference and District Directors meeting. There will be four or five Advanced Courses available as well as the Basic Course. Registration will be available in the spring of 2018. You may attend courses in any district. You are never limited to courses in your own particular district. For questions about Lay Servant Ministries in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, contact David Bowen at

Image goes here.
A Word about the Forms for 2017
from David Bowen, AWFC Director, Lay Servant Ministries
July 30, 2017
For this year's Charge Conference Packages, there will only be 3 forms that deal with Lay Servant Ministries (LSM). Those are:
The previously used report "Application to Begin As a Lay Servant in The United Methodist Church" is no longer a valid form. Those who are contemplating getting into the LSM program will begin by taking the basic course and the application to take the course will be approved by their Senior Minister. No charge conference reporting is needed for someone just thinking about getting into the program. 
The Certified Lay Servant Report [click here] will be used by those who have completed the basic course and one advanced course. 
The Certified Lay Speaker Report [click here] will be used by those who have completed all the requirements and have become a Certified Lay Speaker. 
The Certified Lay Minister Report [click here] will be used by those who are in the CLM program
The Lay Servant and Lay Speaker reports are signed by the Pastor, Layperson, and DS. The charge conference keeps the original and makes 3 copies. One copy goes to the District Superintendent, one copy goes to the District Director of Lay Servant Ministries, and one copy goes to the Layperson. 
Please let me know if you have any questions. 
David Bowen

   Letter Explaining Changes to Lay Servant Ministry
   from Bruce Knecht, Pensacola District Director, Lay Servant Ministries
   August 18, 2014
Dear Fellow Lay Servants and Lay Speakers,
I will keep this as short and simple as possible. I apologize if this letter becomes too wordy. All the information below comes directly from the 2012 Book of Discipline, Section XI. Lay Servant Ministries, paragraph 266, pages 210 and 211. I encourage you to read this for yourselves for clarification and to get a better understanding should any confusion still exist after reading this letter.    

Our ministry program has undergone some recent changes that I would like to bring to your attention. In March of 2013 the Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Lay Speaking Ministries, of which I am a member, met and discussed this very topic. Helen Edwards, our Conference Director, stated that the name change was approved at the 2012 General Conference to LAY SERVANT MINISTRIES. Lay Servant ministries have two separate tracks: Lay Servant/Certified Lay Servant and Certified Lay Speaker.

When you complete the Basic Course you become a Lay Servant. You still must have your pastor’s approval to begin. That has not changed. You can lead Bible studies, teach church school, assist your pastor and visit nursing homes but cannot preach.

When you complete the Basic Course and one Advanced Course you can request an interview with the district board of Lay Servant Ministries to become a Certified Lay Servant. Duties are the same as a Lay Servant with one difference. You can conduct, or assist in conducting, a worship service and present a sermon when requested by your pastor. You can only deliver a message in your church, not the district.

A Certified Lay Speaker  will complete a Basic Course and the following Advanced Courses: Leading in Worship, Leading in Prayer, Discovering Spiritual Gifts, Preaching, United Methodist Polity (new course) and a United Methodist Heritage course and then request an interview with the district board of Lay Servant Ministries. You can deliver a message in your church and the district.

What has not changed is that everyone must take an Advance Course every three years to keep certification/status current. Also, an Annual Report must be completed each year and turned into your church’s charge conference for approval to continue in this ministry.  

Now, for those of you that have been a Certified Lay Speaker for awhile, we, the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries, have decided to grandfather you in for a period of three (3) years beginning 2013. You must have taken a Basic Course and at least three of the six Advanced Courses mentioned previously with one being a “Preach” course. The other Advanced Courses must be taken over the next three years to complete all six required courses; otherwise, you will be moved to a status of Certified Lay Servant.

Peace & Blessings,  

Bruce Knecht
Pensacola District Director
Lay Servant Ministries
850-463-2826 or  (Updated 11/24/2014)
For updates please see the
Copyright © Pensacola District. All rights reserved.