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
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:
RECERTIFICATION AS A CERTIFIED LAY MINISTER
Requirements for maintaining one’s status as a Certified Lay Minister are described in the Book of Discipline (2016) in paragraph 268, section 4.
“Recognition as a certified lay minister may be renewed every two years by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, after the certified lay minister has:
a) submitted an annual report to the charge conference or church council whose membership is held and to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a certified lay minister;
b) obtained a ministry review by the committee on pastor-parish relations,, church council, or charge conference from the congregation of which he or she is a member, or when under assignment, from the committee on pastor-parish relations, charge conference, or supervisory board of the ministry setting in which he or she is assigned;
c) completed a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course or approved continuing education event, as defined by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure in had the last two years;
d) obtained recommendation for recertification from the district superintendent;
e) had all requirements for recertification reviewed by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, for referral to the district committee on ordained ministry for examination of persons who have applied in writing to be renewed as certified lay ministers and to make recommendations for recertification. After the district committee on ordained ministry interviews the certified lay minister, the district committee on ordained ministry will make a recommendation to the conference committee on Lay Servant ministries for final recertification by that committee.”
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2016. Copyright 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS, the North Carolina Conference requires an up-to-date criminal background check be passed.