Excerpt from my friend John I. Carney’s blog: Since the 1990s, I’ve been a United Methodist lay speaker – which, when I first got into the program, simply meant someone who was not an ordained minister but who was approved by the church to preach. A layspeaker might fill in for a sick or visiting pastor, and some churches have “laity Sunday” observances in which the entire worship service is presented by members of the church.
When I got involved, you would take a basic lay speaking class, about 8-10 hours of instruction – after which you were approved to speak at your own home church. Then, after you’d taken any of the available advanced classes, you became a “certified lay speaker,” approved to speak in any United Methodist Church. You had to take some sort of advanced course at least every three years in order to remain certified. Many people would take courses more frequently, just because they’re usually enjoyable, and you get to know and reconnect with other lay speakers.
TO READ THE REST AT JOHN’S BLOG: Lake Neuron | a long day, but a good one