Lay Ministry

Lay ministry is at the core of every church. There is plenty of work to do. Every job is important and every job is a personal ministry. From teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, helping in the nursery and preparing food for church receptions, to serving as liturgists, on committees, (doing) evangelism, leading Bible studies, ushering, caring for church property, handling the church’s money and the hundred other jobs that we do, the laity serve God in big and small ways. Lay Servant ministries (or Christ Servant Ministries in the Eastern PA Conference) revolve around three broad categories that combine words with deeds to serve the church and the community: Caring, Leading and Communicating. We must have laity who show compassion to all, who are trained to lead and eager to learn, and who can express their faith in Christ in meaningful ways through words and deeds.

Partially adapted from a description by Bill Knobles, Certified Lay Minister, Florida Conference, UMC (

Lay Ministry Contacts

Dave Koch, Conference Lay Leader

David Koch
Conference Lay Leader

Suzette James
Associate Conference Lay Leader

2019 EPA Laity Academy

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch… “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” –Luke 5:4,10b

Are you prepared to navigate the deep waters? Our lives and ministries are constantly bombarded by the waves that distract us from our commitment to Christ.  When you are asked to Cast Your Net and fish for Disciples, do you know where to start? Do you know what to say?

Come join us at the 2019 EPA Laity Academy for an exciting weekend of classes, fellowship, worship, entertainment, food and service. Learn how you can Gather Disciples and Grow your Ministries.

There are many more new classes this year including topics in Ministering to an Aging Congregation, Working With Conflict: Making the Most of Diversity, and more to be announced.

Watch this space for registration details.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Rick Wrisley, Laity Academy Dean, at

2 Christ Servant Ministry courses offered in May

Two Christ Servant Ministry courses will be offered May 17 and 18 at Asbury UMC Allentown (1533 Springhouse Rd.).

Judy Ehninger will teach “Introduction to Christ Servant Ministry” for persons who want to learn about how Christ Servant Ministry can help members grow in a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Harold Burkett will teach “Speaking 1.” This advanced course is open to members who feel called to witness by effectively telling others how God’s Holy Spirit is working in and through their lives.

A $35 registration fee for either class helps pay for class materials and light refreshments. Registration is required.  Additional information and /or registration materials, are available from George Hollich by email at or calling 717-838-2812.  

Download the Registration forms:

Certified Lay Minister Program

 Schedule and information for the Class of 2018

The Certified Lay Minister 2018 class opens April 1, 2018, for those students who applied, were determined eligible and completed the required orientation. The Class of 2018 will be certified, upon completion of course, in the Spring of 2019. Please contact Judy Ehninger to register for a future orientation session: OR, (C) 610-442-3140, (H) 610-965-2290.

The Journey Begins: Judy Ehninger teaches yet another Basic Christ Servant Ministry class for members seeking deeper involvement and possibly certification in lay ministry at the 34th annual Academy for Laity, August 4-6, at Cedarville UMC. John Coleman photo

Equipping leaders ‘for the work of ministry’

“[11] The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, [12] to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” Ephesians 4:12

Nearly 200 laity and several clergy brought their diverse gifts to Cedarville UMC in Pottstown August 4-6 for the 34th annual Academy for Laity. Some likely discovered new gifts for ministry, as the church’s Family Life Center became a spiritual gym for “building up the body of Christ.” Read more…

District Lay Leaders
  • Ms. Patricia Wilson (North)
  • Rob Ensinger (North)
  • Deb Forney (North)
  • Mrs. Susan Grimm Mattox (West)
  • Mr. Lee Smedley (West)
  • Mr. William P. Thompson (South)
  • Mr. John J. Paylor (South)
  • Jennifer Lafferty (South)
  • Mrs. Karen Fisher (East)

Christ Servant Ministries

Christ Servant Ministries programs are available to United Methodists in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and provide opportunities that promote serving, training, and recognition of laity who lead, speak, and care about others.

Certified Lay Ministry

Certified Lay Ministers (CLMs) serve in local churches providing assistance to pastors. Sometimes, they are assigned by a district superintendent to provide pastoral leadership in small congregations. The idea of laity serving as lay preachers, exhorters, and class leaders goes back to the early day of Methodism. CLMs preach the Word, provide care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, and serve as witnesses in the community to further the growth and mission. They are usually a part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person.

For further information, contact: Judy Ehninger, Coordinator CLM Program, Eastern Pennsylvania Conference  or 610-965-2209

Learn more about Christ Servant Minstry and Certified Lay Ministry in our Conference at the Eastern PA Christ Servant Ministries Website.

Lay Ministry News & Information