Servant Leaders and Lay Servant Ministries

Have you talked about Servanthood and Servant Leadership in your church?  I have been in many conversations about being a Servant of Jesus Christ with a lot of my friends.  To help me understand and explain to others I pulled together some information which I would like to share with you.  I also want to share information about our Lay Servant Ministries Programs and training.

Servant is defined as:  One that serves.

Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy. Traditional leadership generally involves the exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down; instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they unlock purpose and ingenuity in those around them, resulting in higher performance and engaged, fulfilled employees.  “What Is Servant Leadership”Servant Leadership Institute.

At heart, the individual is a servant first, making the conscious decision to lead in order to better serve others, not to increase their own power. You can do acts of service and still not be a servant if your motivations are rooted in selfish ambition, if your intended outcome is recognition, and if your ultimate purpose is to benefit yourself in some way. True servanthood begins with selflessness, maintains humility throughout, and ultimately seeks the good of others which requires the right heart attitude.  So much of the attitude of Jesus began with a choice … a choice to make himself nothing, take on the nature of a servant, humble himself and become obedient.

Questions we should ask ourselves?

Do you have the right heart?

  • Are you using your God given Gifts to Serve HIM?
  • Do you say, “I love Jesus and am at my core His servant!”
  • We need to be people dedicated to our Master’s Word, knowing that it is the Master’s training manual for godly living and service: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Do you continually study Gods Training Manual?

Lay Servant Ministries Core is: Leading, Communication and Caring.  We help people to grow in those three tenants.  To Continue to Be recognized as a Certified Lay Servant you must continue your training, and serve at the Local, District, or Conference Level.  If you just want the training and not become a Certified Lay Servant all are welcome.  We have courses in each of our tenants and others which help you grow in your Journey with Jesus Christ.

Pastors:  We have two scheduled classes, but we will do classes for you at your church.  Call us and we can set it up.  All Lay Servant Courses are required 10 hours.  We can come and do a course that does not qualify for recertification for Lay Servants but does meet your needs of education on a specific topic.

Who SHOULD take Lay Servant Courses

  • Knowledge of the United Methodist Church and its beliefs, policies, and ministries.
  • Everyone who seeks leadership, assistance, and support to the program emphases of the church or other United Methodist ministry.
  • Anyone that lead meetings for prayer, training, study, and discussion when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on lay servant ministries.
  • Anyone that conduct, or assist in conducting, services of worship, preach the Word, or give addresses when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on Lay Servant Ministries. This also applies when you are asked outside of the church to lead a worship or prayer service.
  • Everyone that works on committees and teams that provide congregational and community leadership or foster caring ministries.
  • Anyone that assist in the distribution of the elements of Holy Communion upon request by a pastor.
  • Anyone who does hospital and home visits.
  • Everyone has God given gifts we have a course to inform you what they are and how to use them in your church community.
  • All that teach the Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of The United Methodist Church.

We have scheduled courses twice a year in the Bi-District Spring and Fall.  The Conference does a training in the Spring.  The other districts also have courses that they post as scheduled.  Arlington and Alexandria District has those courses listed on the website under the Lay Servant Ministries Training Section from the drop down.  All the other courses are on the conference website under lay leadership then Lay Servant Ministries.

Our next Bi-District Training is April 27th and 28th at Herndon UMC.  All are welcome.  REGISTER
We look forward to seeing you at one of our training events.

From:  Laura Harris-Chwastyk and Vicki Poindexter, Arlington Co-Directors of Lay Servant Ministries