12 After [Jesus] washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. (John 13:12-17, CEB)
In 2012, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church changed the name of Lay Speaking Ministries to Lay Servant Ministries. The term servant was chosen to expand the reach of this leadership development program. No longer should participants view this as a training for only those who feel called to “fill the pulpit” when the pastor is away. Lay Servants are to serve the local church or charge in any way in which their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. This includes the interpretation of scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the church.