Lay preacher is a preacher or a religious proclaimer who is not a formally ordained cleric. Lay preaching varies in importance between religions and their sects. Although lay preachers in many Christian denominations may be accorded titles such as Reverend as a courtesy by people – including those in their congregation – it is only once a priest, cleric, minister or reverend has been ordained that he/she can correctly adopt that title.
Movements which encourage lay preachership include:
- Awakening (Lutheran movement, especially see Hans Nielsen Hauge, Paavo Ruotsalainen, and lay preachers organized by Lars Levi Laestadius)
- Methodist local preacher
- Lay speaker (United Methodist Church)
- Lay reader (Anglican communion)
- Plymouth Brethren
- Lay ecclesial ministry (Catholic), see also Bo Sanchez and Hippolytus Guarinonius
- The United Reformed Church (England)
- Unitarian & Free Christian Accredited Lay Preacher (Great Britain)
- Lay presidency, celebrating the Lord's Supper while unordained
- Lay brother (lay sister)
- Lay leader
- Practicing without a license
- Universal priesthood
- Best Practices for Guest for Preachers in Unitarian Universalist Pulpits (PDF). UUA. Summer 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
Be aware that the title “Reverend” applies to ministers who have been ordained. Some ministers are in candidate status, or otherwise have not earned the “Rev.” title.