Becoming a local preacher
Wondering if you’re called to be…a local preacher?
Read these words and look at the image below as you ponder the questions
Through preaching, our faith is shared, imaginations are stirred, God’s voice is heard and people’s lives are changed.
Preaching takes many different forms. As a Methodist local preacher, you are called and trained to enable others to worship God.
“Proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2 (NRSV)
- What is it that excites you about God’s word? How could you communicate this with others?
- How can the worship and preaching of the Church be transformed so that others can meet God and grow in faith?
Throughout its history, the Methodist Church has recognised that God calls people other than ordained ministers to lead worship and to preach. Hence local preachers are responsible for leading many Methodist services week by week. There can be no greater privilege than to lead the people of God in worship and to preach the Word of God. The Methodist Church therefore places great emphasis on properly discerning the call of a potential local preacher, and on thorough training and preparation for this key role in the life and mission of the Church.
Are you interested?
If you are interested in exploring what is involved in becoming a local preacher, or already feel a call to preach God's word, click here for a guide to help you explore your calling (printed copies of this booklet are available from Methodist Publishing in packs of 20).
If you wish to take things further, ask your minister for a conversation about what is involved.
Training as a Local Preacher
The process of formation and training for a local preacher is a comprehensive one, and takes place under the supervision of the Circuit Local Preachers' Meeting. The development of skills and understanding through regular participation in leading worship is supplemented by a course of study known as Worship: Leading & Preaching. This course blends online self-guided study with group work and is assessed through portfolios.
For more information on the course of study, see Worship: Leading & Preaching.
The whole process of discernment, formation and training is set out in table form here.
In addition, Local Preachers are required to complete the Methodist Church’s mandatory training in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, so that they are aware of the Church’s strategy and their role within it. Full details of the training can be found here: Mandatory EDI Training (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion).
There is a training pathway available specifically for people serving in the Armed Forces. For more information, click here.
The Competencies of a Local Preacher
Since the 2016 Conference, a set of competencies for particular roles in the life of the Church have been developed. Those relevant to local preachers are available for download here, in PDF format:
These provide helpful guides for the Local Preachers' Meeting as they seek to discern the call of a Local Preacher and make decisions at critical points during the training process.