Lay Reader Program

Lay Reader Responsibilities (updated September 13, 2010)


1. Prepare the following material:

Call to Worship

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Prayer for Illumination

First (and sometimes second) Scripture Reading

2. Mark the Lay Reader's part and send the packet out in a timely fashion.

The Lay Reader

1. Take time to prepare. Read the lesson(s) several times. Read the lesson aloud.

2. Emphasis and Delivery

a. Stress verb action:

You know the time in which we are living.

It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep,

for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith.

The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of

darkness and put on the armor of light.

Let us live honorably as in daylight;

not in carousing and drunkeness, not in sexual excess and lust

not in quarreling and jealousy.

b. Express emotion. As you practice reading aloud, try to express the different

emotions you feel. Let the Holy Spirit work through you to touch the hearts

of those who hear us.

c. Take your time. Pause long enough between sections of the readings to

effectively shift emotional gears.

d. Become sensitive to Hebrew Poetry. Hebrew Poetry has a balanced, parallel


And now we have set foot

Within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity.

Because of the house of the Lord, our God,

I will pray for your good.

3. Techniques

a. Nervousness: Friend or Foe?

Admit to being nervous.

Prepare adequately.

Arrive early.

b. Your body speaks

Dress appropriately.

Make eye contact.

c. Volume and projection

Get familiar with the sound system, adjust the microphone.

To practice projection, try speaking with the sound system off.

d. Clear enunciation

Use your lips, teeth and tongue.


Say B D F L M P T V rapidly and distinctly.

Make a "Brrrr" sound to get the blood flowing to your lips.

e. Make pauses and eye contact, but resist the "Bobber Effect".

4. Checklist: What to do immediately before Worship

a. Arrive at least 15 minutes early.

b. Spend some quiet time in prayer.

c. Check to see that the microphone is on.

d. Make certain the mike is tilted so that it will amplify your projected voice.

e. Join in prayer with the pastor.

5. During the Sermon, try to stay awake! Remember people will see you

nodding off, yawning, or completely bored!

* * * * * * Lastly, make sure the sound system is on! * * * * * *