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Lay Servant Ministry education launches a new approach

Graphic: Attention United Methodist Laity

Lay Ministry new beginnings….literally!

This October, the Lay Servant Ministries Executive Team is launching a new approach to Lay Ministry and Education. It will be a pilot program that may catch-on throughout the general church.

Rev. Steve Trefz, Equipper of Lay Servant Ministers, said, “We’ve noticed in past years of Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) Module 1 events, and basic Lay Servant Ministry(LSM) / Speaking events, there are many similarities, and many ways they could build off each other.”

The plan is to hold one-day Ministry Discernment Events. The content will be the best of the LSM course, and still will be credited as a basic LSM course. Participation in the one-day event, will support the call to ministry.  That could mean further training for the CLM track of continuing education.  With just a few extra steps, participants will get credit for the beginning CLM course.

Changing Gears

In the past, CLM Module 1 was offered as an advanced course. The feedback and the direction from the participants led the LSM Executive Team to realize that it’s best to use the gifts and graces of the Module 1 course in the Dakotas and Minnesota Conferences as an entry level course.  Combining the Module 1 course with the basic course LSM course made perfect sense.

Trefz noted, "This way, everyone feeling a nudge, or a call, or a yearning to do something more with their faith and ministry, can see this as a first new step. So, no matter how deeply they want to commit to Lay Servant Ministry, everyone’s starting on the same page."

Trefz went on to say, “So this is a little confusing, I’m sure, because we’ve started these module ones, and we’ve got certified Lay Ministers on different parts of that track, and we have Lay Servants and Lay Speakers on different parts of that track, so we decided and put our hopes in these 5 events we’re launching. For October, beginning with Oct. 11 in Minot and Stewartville, MN, we are geared for everyone feeling a nudge or a call. If you’ve taken a basic course before, it’s a good idea to just take this one anyway. If you haven’t taken anything before, then this is good place to start. It’s kind of a re-tooling of information some may have glanced upon at prior training.”

The main benefit of the new method of training, Trefz said, is when a lay person feels the call, it helps the conference be more attuned to their needs and call. Rather than starting from scratch every time contact is made, it is a way to make that call known connectionally, above and beyond scattered trainings.  The new approach allows the conference to be more responsive to a person's  call, to be better able to equip each unique and vital calling to ministry.

If you, or someone you know, may be hearing a calling, even a whisper, to learn more about lay ministry, you’re encouraged to contact Steve Trefz.

October Events - Important

Click here to register for the Ministry Discernment Events on October 11 and October 25.  A book is sent ahead of time for the course, so participants must pre-register at least 10 days in advance of the event. Registrations cannot be accepted any later than that, out of respect for the integrity of the event. 

Trefz encouraged, "Dakotans, it’s time to bite the bullet and pre-register!"

Upcoming Training

The LSM Team coordinators are currently in the process of setting up fall advanced courses, preaching courses, topical courses, so keep your eyes and ears open for more information as we post it online here.

One area of emphasis is lay preaching trainings, and the hope is that each ministry team area will host a preaching course before Annual Conference 2015!  There also will be topical courses offered based on the needs shared at our 2014 AC laity session.  The contact persons in each area are the Ministry Team Coordinators, and their contact information is on the laity “ministry teams” page of the Dakotas Conference site.

The first ministry discernment events are on Oct. 11 and Oct. 25, and January the next round begins!  Advanced preaching and topical classes will begin this Fall!


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