Eastern PA Conference

Christ Servant Ministry

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Lay Methodists have a long and distinguished tradition of serving. When the early circuit riders would leave to attend to other churches on their charge, laity would be left to handle things on their own. Members of the congregation would fill the pulpit when the pastor was elsewhere. This position was known as an exhorter. In the 1940's, the term changed to lay speaker.

At the 1992 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, a resolution was adopted that called upon the Lay Speaker to provide service in the areas of caring, leading, and communicating. But many across the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference felt that the name Lay Speaker did not adequately express these three service areas of Lay Ministry. And... after numerous meetings and discussions, the 1997 Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference passed legislation to use the name Christ Servant Minister in place of Lay Speaker.

 A Christ Servant Minister follows the rules and guidelines for Lay Speakers as stated in the Book of Discipline, but is recognized by the conference only in the areas that they have training.

 Today, these lay servants of Christ minister with and to groups of Methodist Christians, as well as other communities throughout Eastern Pennsylvania.

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