Lay Training is a tool of the Methodist Church through the Conference Statutory Committee on Christian Education and Communications for equipping and empowering Christians for their calling. This department is empowered to ensure that all the resolutions passed by each Annual Conference on all matters pertaining to the Church’s Education and Training are carried out by the whole Church to meet specific spiritual and social needs of the members.
To fulfill this mandate, the Lay Training Department may either organize courses, workshops or seminars directly at the circuit level or delegates to the church ministers on the ground.
The other major function of the Department is to organize the training, testing and vetting of the Methodist Lay Christians for accreditation as Lay Preachers of the Methodist Church. This is an important responsibility considering that the Lay Preachers are the backbone of the Church. It is these men and women whose Christian commitment convicts them to occupy the more than 900 pulpits every Sunday throughout the Connexion, including Uganda and Tanzania.
To carry out its training mandate, the Department uses various books and publications some of them prepared by the Department. To date, the Department has printed handouts on Local Church leadership training; Biblical Dynamics of the call to the Preaching Ministry including three books on Lay Training series. Series one is on Lent Bible study book titled: Journey to Easter; series two is an Introduction to a Handbook on Preaching while series three is a study guide on the Bible books of Leviticus, Hosea, Gospel of St Mark and the Letter to the Hebrews. Plans are underway to produce a series of study course books to cover all the books of the Bible. The strategy is to produce two to three Old Testament study guides and two New Testament guides every two years.
Finally, Lay Training is mandated by the Conference to produce a new Worship Book and a Methodist Christian Song book. In fact a draft of the new Worship book has already been completed and ready for publishing in English. Two other publications in Kimeru and Kiswahili will follow.