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

The last day to register is Friday, July 12!

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.

The last day to register is Friday, July 12!

We recommend you download the following planning guide for a handy resource explaining the registration process, all courses, and more!

Costs: The cost of the 2019 Academy is $110. There will be an additional $5 for the BASIC course, and an additional $10 for Making Every Prayer Count. These additional fees will cover the cost of needed materials.

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

Also, visit us on Facebook:

More Information:
Dorm Rooms:

This year, you have the option to register for a dorm room at Eastern University for an additional cost:

  • $75 /person if 3 or 4 in room
  • $85 /person if double occupancy
  • $100 /person for single occupant

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