Are you hearing God’s call to grow deeper in your ministry?    

Are you longing to more faithfully practice and listen to the Spirit in your life?    

The Lay Ministry Formation (LMF) program of the Northwest Washington Synod offers a unique opportunity to discover and deepen one’s calling to real-life ministry. The program accompanies participants in their existing spiritual journeys in order to pursue faithful and vital discipleship while also learning to be responsive to the continuously changing cultural times we find ourselves in. The LMF is a way to seriously engage lay ministry preparation for our changing contexts.    


  • We recognize that leaders find themselves in a shifting culture and new missional time. Christian leaders and congregations in the US can no longer assume attractional models that reduce our neighbors to persons we merely acquire or assist. We find ourselves in a time of disorientation, where local churches do not have the same kind of organizational predictability or influence in our societies as we once had.    
  • This shift creates instability and anxiety with a lack of confidence and uncertainty about our current situation as faith communities, and leaders. Lay Ministry Formation is an opportunity to wrestle and to reimagine what it means to partner in our life with God’s mission in the world. The program invites leaders to discern the movement and presence of God in their own particular settings and to join God in seeking the flourishing of common life together.    
  • The challenges we face do not present themselves with obvious or simple approaches. Leaders must lean into their own ways of interpreting their contexts, through their own developing fluencies as leaders in order to recognize where God’s hospitality, not their own, is inviting new possibilities of life. While this is challenging time, it is also an opportunity to share in what God is already doing. The church is not dying, it is changing, and we are being called to adapt to where God is already showing up among us. It is in navigating this adventure and willingness to trust God’s Spirit that we encourage lay ministers to celebrate and welcome where God’s movement is breaking in.    
  • The Lay Ministry Formation process is a two-year, cohort-based training program for lay ministers seeking to participate and lead in a new missional era within the setting of her or his own congregation or ministry context.   

Missional Learning Process:    

Situated-Contextualized Learning:   All participants come already embedded in within their own social locations, and contexts. What this means is that formation of lay ministers works to bring forward these places and people as the central locations where God is already present and moving. The training seeks, through capture of your own congregations and ministry contexts, to build on where you are already, and by creating opportunities to discern God’s movement and presence in those settings.    

Spiritual Formation:   Participants will learn to orient their sense making of the context through practices that bring focus and new imagination to God’s presence and movement. Spiritual formation is being formed in the Spirit to become attuned to where and with whom God is inviting us to participate. Through personal and communal spiritual practices we work to enhance sensitivity to the Spirit already present in our churches and world.    

Cohort Learning:   Participants journey together with other lay ministers. This is a shared journey of becoming co-learners from one another and how it is that God is speaking to each of us individually and collectively. Our willingness to be open to one another is an important aspect of this formation process that lends itself to important postures of hospitality, and vulnerability through mutual learning and discovery.    

Accompaniment Learning:   Each participant will be paired with a spiritual mentor/guide. This person will be your accompaniment learning partner through the process. They will make space to listen to you as you navigate this formation process by helping you to articulate your own journey of discovery. They are not intended to be “answer-givers”, but accompaniment guides joining your own process of learning.   

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We give thanks for Trinity Education Foundation who, through a generous grant, is helping to make these learning opportunities accessible to more communities of faith.