What is a Certified Lay Minister?
The Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a position that was created by the 2004 session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. This position was designed to enhance the quality of ministry and ability of small membership churches and team ministry in larger membership churches to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of a constantly changing world (¶ 271 in the 2012 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church).
Certified Lay Ministers preach the Word, provide care ministry to the congregation, assist in program leadership, and are a witness in the community as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. The Certified Lay Minister can be assigned by a District Superintendent to provide lay servant leadership in a ministry or in a church.
Why do we have Certified Lay Ministers?
According to ¶268.2 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, we have certified lay ministers in order to:
- Enhance the quality of ministry much like a class leader did in early Methodism through service in the local church, circuit, or cooperative parish
- Expand team ministry in other churches or charges
- Use spiritual gifts as evidence of God’s grace, as with lay ministry in early Methodism
What does a Certified Lay Minister do?
Our 2016 Book Of Discipline tells us that a CLM as part of a ministry under the supervision and support of a clergyperson:
- Conducts public worship
- Cares for the congregation
- Assists in program leadership
- Develops new and existing faith communities
- Preaches the Word
- Leads small groups
- Establishes community outreach ministries
CLMs also now have the opportunity with further training to specialize in the following areas (click on each for more information):
- Hispanic/Latino Lay Missioner
- Lay Missionary/Church Planter
- Children’s Faith Formation
- Men’s Ministry Specialist
- United Methodist Parish Nurse
ANNUAL REPORT – All Certified Lay Ministers are required to submit an annual report. Click here to access an online annual report form.
Some frequently asked questions: