Lay Servant Ministries: a tool for transformation

A message from Jimmie Boyd, director, Arkansas Conference Lay Servant Ministries The Lay Speaking Ministries program received a new name as a result of 2012 General Conference legislation. Now we are called “Lay Servant Ministries” (LSM)—because all laity should be servants, shouldn’t we? We all could use training in our spiritual walk, and the LSM program provides just that. LSM includes both Lay Servants and Lay Speakers, and provides training, certification and accountability processes for persons interested in either of these roles. LSM presented at least one class in every district this past year, and the number of Lay Servants keeps growing. We are in the process of confirming those who have turned in their required Annual Lay Servant report, and those who have attended classes in the last three years. We will offer two sets of classes at Mount Eagle on March 13-15. One runs from Thursday afternoon to early Friday afternoon, and another begins Friday evening and ends early Saturday afternoon. For information, contact the Rev. Lu Harding: lu@mounteagle.org or 501-723-4580. The Southeast District has classes planned for two Sunday afternoons in April: from 2 to 7 p.m. on April 6 and April 13 at First UMC Monticello. For other districts’ schedules, check with your district LSM director or district office. We still have areas in the Conference that are underserved by LSM, but I believe we can change that. The LSM leaders feel that the program is strategically placed to advance the vision and mission of the Arkansas Conference. If pastors and laity in every church embrace what LSM is doing, we can join forces and increase our commitment to our communities. With the support of our bishop, the Conference, the Center for Clergy and Laity Excellence in Leadership and most of all our pastors, we can realize big dreams and show real progress in making disciples. It will take several years, but a journey starts with the first step, and we have already taken that step. I encourage you to connect with your district Lay Servant Ministries director. The contact information below also appears on the Conference’s LSM page, www.arumc.org/lay_servant_ministries, along with links to other resources. District directors for Lay Servant Ministries Central District: Thomas C. Crawford thomascr@swbell.net 501-346-3044 Northeast District: Rev. Marion Fleming, co-director Marion021@centurytel.net 870-257-3335 Richard “Rick” Neeley, co-director rneeley@asu.edu 870-761-3799 or 870-972-3106 Northwest District: Paul Hewitt phewitt@uark.edu 479-981-4600 Southeast District: Jimmie Boyd jimmie.boyd@arumc.org 870-718-3649 Southwest District: Rev. David Kassos davidkassos@aol.com 870-774-4091