What is a Lay Leader? A Lay Servant? A Lay Member of Annual Conference? A Conference Lay Minister? And how do you tell them apart?
A LAY MEMBER to Annual Conference Session, is elected by a congregation to represent that congregation at the yearly Annual Conference Session. Every recognized church is entitled to at least one lay member. Pastors are Clergy Members to Annual Conference. One can also be a lay member to Annual Conference by virtue of office, i.e., as a District Lay Leader, etc.
A LAY LEADER serves in partnership with the pastor, serves as a connection between committees, serves the congregation, and intercedes on the congregations behalf with all governing bodies, this is addressed in more detail below. A lay leader is encouraged to become a lay speaker and/or a lay member to Annual Conference Session.
A LAY SERVANT serves in ministry to the church and congregation. A local lay servant may occasionally serve in the pulpit at their pastor's request. In addition to serving occasionally in the pulpit at their pastor's request, a certified lay servant may also occasionally serve in another pulpit in their district at that pastor's or the District Superintendent's request. A certified lay speaker is a certified lay servant who has completed classes in Preaching, Prayer, Worship, Spiritual Gifts, and United Methodist History and Polity.