Methodism has always relied on lay preachers who share in the preaching and leading of worship. Indeed, all our ministers must become local preachers first before they can be considered for ordained ministry. In the Oxford Circuit, we have a team of over twenty active lay preachers who, along with our circuit staff, supernumerary (ie. retired) ministers and ministers in other appointments (eg. chaplaincy roles), take our services week by week.
Local preachers in training go through two stages. Those on note accompany an accredited local preacher and assist them in taking the services. They then move to being "on trial" where they take services on their own whilst still continuing with their training.