The Local Preachers' Union (U.P.L.) represents a distinct ministry of the Waldensian and Methodist churches.
The Committee and the Assembly are interdependent parts of the Union. The Committee is responsible for contact between members, convenes the Assembly to which it reports on themes regarding the preaching ministry, the organization of the Union, its financial situation; it then carries out the mandates of the Assembly, nominates the delegates to the the District Conferences and Synod and distributes book vouchers to the local preachers who desire them.
The U.P.L. is sustained financially by offerings coming from the local churches. The T.V. invites the churches to hold a special offering once a year.
The local preachers are lay members of the church whose willingness to use their gift is recognized and valued by the local community.In Protestant churches the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments are not the prerogative of full time pastors but are ministries carried out by the church as a whole.
How you can become a local preacher: the Church Council forwards the name of the member who aspires to be a local preacher to the Circuit Council, which in turn sends it on to the Permanent Committee for Studies (C.P.S.) which proposes a personalized study plan to the candidate. When this study course has been completed successfully, the local preacher is included on the list of local preachers, both that kept by the Circuit Council and that of the U.P.L. It is possible for the candidates who already have a diploma in theology to be admitted to these rolls after undertaking exercises in homiltics.
At the end of the year 2005, there were 105 recognized local preachers, but there is also a good number whose preaching is recognized by the local community only.
This small army of volunteer preachers represents a valuable asset to be used to the full by the churches.