Course Information

From the Metro Region Committee on Lay Servant Ministries

Not finding the course you need? See Finding a Basic Course and Finding an Advanced Course below.

Classes currently registering or planning (click on the course for details)


Lay Servant Ministries courses prepare the student for leading, communicating, and caring.

They generally take 10 class-hours to complete, but may be less or more. They are offered in a variety of formats, at a variety of times and places. Instructors are not always subject matter experts, usually just good teachers.

All are welcome to all courses. Discipleship is a gift from God we are called to share with everyone.

Detailed information on General Board of Discipleship courses is in this neat brochure 2013 Lay Ministry Equipping Resources Catalog. Those courses and a few others are listed below.

A Basic Course is usually taken before any Advanced Courses, but the Discipline allows any order.
General Board of Discipleship courses:
Basic Courses (Either one required to be a Local Church Lay Servant. Metro Region "Today's Disciple" course includes one of these.)
Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course
Youth Basic Course
Advanced Courses (one required every three years to remain a Lay Servant, and to be a Certified Lay Servant)
Core (useful to all Lay Servants)
Lay Servants Discover Spiritual Gifts
Lay Servants Grow Spiritually Through Daily Discipline
Lay Servants Are Accountable Disciples
Lay Servants Interpret to Others Our United Methodist Heritage
Leading in Prayer
Ministry Specific Courses
Lay Pastoral Care Giving
From Your Heart to Theirs: Delivering an Effective Sermon
Lay Servants Teach Adults
Lay Servants Tell Stories
You Can Lead in Worship
Lay Servants Lead Bible Study
Lay Servants Are Servant Leaders
You Can Lead in Stewardship
Lay Servants Lead In Mission Outreach
You Can Preach!
Lay Servants Create Disciple-Making Faith Communities
Lay Servants Cultivate Christian Community
Courses from other sources with some content on Leading, Caring, or Communicating might also be accredited for LSM Advanced hours, for example:
Rethink Church courses sponsored by Wisconsin Annual Conference Director of Connectional Ministries
School of Christian Mission courses
Faith Alive courses

Volunteers in Mission courses
High school or college courses in public speaking
Professional continuing education courses
Courses for volunteers from the local hospital
Courses taught at other churches of other denominations
Stevens Ministry course
Online courses from UMCOM, BeADisciple.com (by Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College
), or Methodist seminaries.

The possibilities are as numerous as God's calls on his people. For information on getting credit for courses not listed in the table of Classes currently registering or planning
above, contact us at Rex.Nelson@DiscipleConnection.org.

Every Lay Servant must complete at least ten accredited course hours every three years to remain current. For this reason, Lay Servants might be given priority in registering for a course.


Finding a Basic Course
We are not offering a basic course per se. What we are offering, to as many people as possible, is a course on intentional discipleship titled "Today's Disciple". That course uses the UMC General Board of Discipleship curriculum "Lay Speaking Ministries Basic Course" and satisfies the education requirement to become a Local Church Lay Servant. The distinction is subtle but important: exclusive vs. inclusive. This is not "The Gatekeeper to Lay Speaking"; this is A gateWAY to a deeper relationship with God.

Some in the class might feel called to our covenant with the Body of Christ, the congregation, to better fulfill that lifelong task of transforming the world and making disciples. Those become Lay Servants. Others might not feel called to that path, fulfilling their commitment to God in other ways. We honor both equally and offer ALL support in their own paths to grow and serve.

If a "Today's Disciple" class listed above does not satisfy your needs, e-mail your request with contact information, home church, and pastor's name to us at Rex.Nelson@DiscipleConnection.org.

Finding an Advanced Course
Here is how to get a Lay Servant Ministries Advanced Course taught in your area:
  1. Decide to be a catalyst. You might not teach the class, but you can get the ball rolling. God has called you to do this. We can tell because you were moved to inquire. When God calls, he also equips. Don't be afraid; God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it. Now is the time to contact us at Rex.Nelson@DiscipleConnection.org.
  2. Discern the call. For what part of God's plan must you prepare? Maybe there is a clear need in your community, or maybe God has anticipated one with gifts for us to develop. Ask fellow lay servants, church leaders, community leaders, and anyone else you can think of. Ask in your church, in the churches in your circuit, in the churches in your community. Consider some of the courses available: on the Course Information and Past Classes pages of www.DiscipleConnection.org; 2013 Lay Ministry Equipping Resources Catalog is a link to this year's Lay Speaker Courses from Nashville; other courses might be found at www.UpperRoom.org/bookstore by locating the Browse box (upper right corner) and choosing Lay Speaker. Don't consider those to be the only courses available, though. God might be calling you to something Nashville hasn't written about. God's call might also be represented in more than one course. Above all, pray. Remember, at this stage, it's not about the course, it's about God's call.
  3. Collect interested parties. Invite people to gather at a place and time to consider the call and how to prepare. These people should not be limited to Lay Servants. Courses are open to all, and God speaks to even those who are not Lay Servants. From this pool will be drawn intent and core participants. We can lead this gathering, or simply attend it, but you need to organize it.
  4. Inspire action. As a catalyst, this is your last step. We will help you motivate a course coordinator (maybe you, maybe another) to begin concrete planning.
  5. Plan the course. Who, what, when, where, how, and why?
  6. Prepare for the course. Publicize. Register participants. Order or print materials. Collect equipment. Maybe even practice the skits and songs.
  7. Deliver the course. Unlock the doors and adjust the thermostat. Setup the projector. Take attendance. Get certificates. Notify pastors. And So On.
  8. Follow up. Return equipment. Tabulate survey responses. This list goes on as well, depending on the course. 
As you progress, keep us informed. We don't expect you to do this alone. Reach out to us us at Rex.Nelson@DiscipleConnection.org. God has blessed you with a call, and we will support you in any way we can.

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