Certified Lay Minister
What is a Certified Lay Minister?
Certified lay ministers (CLMs) are laity who have answered God’s call on their life through a concrete and long-term commitment to the local church. Some CLMs serve as lay pastors of congregations. Others engage in specific ministry projects in their own local church.
All CLMs work as part of a ministry team and under the direct supervision of an ordained pastor.
History and Purpose:
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.
Certified lay ministers are assigned by the district superintendent and work under the supervision of a clergy mentor, as part of a ministry team. Depending on their skills and calling, their ministry role may include any of the following:
- Conducting public worship
- Caring for the congregation
- Assisting in program leadership
- Developing new and existing faith communities
- Preaching the Word
- Leading small groups
- Establishing community outreach ministries
Who Can Become a Certified Lay Minister?
As Methodists, we believe that all Christians are called to ministry. Laity who feel called to a specific ministry role within the local church may choose to become a certified lay minister.
Becoming a CLM means joining a community of other laity who are making a similar commitment to live out their call in a way that is both concrete (i.e. through assignment by the district superintendent) and long-term. It also means committing to a process that includes training, support, supervision, and accountability.
The process to become a CLM takes a full year; to remain certified, CLMs participate in an annual review process and renew every two years. To learn more about the specific process in the North Carolina Conference, visit our pages on How to Become a Certified Lay Minister and How to Renew.
A Team Ministry
Certified lay ministers serve as a part of a team. If you are a clergy mentor, serve on pastor-parish relations or church council, or have been asked to join the CLM’s mutual ministry team as a member of the congregation where the CLM is assigned, then we invite you to click the link to learn more about your unique role and to watch a video made just for you by our Conference Lay Leader, John Hall.
If you have any questions, reach out to your district director of Lay Servant Ministries or contact Leah Wiebe-Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, Director of Leadership Development and Christian Formation for the North Carolina Conference.