Whether you are making initial application to become a certified lay servant or certified lay speaker, or are currently serving in either role, you must submit an annual report to your charge conference (¶266.4a, ¶267.4a, 2016 Book of Discipline).
When do I submit my report?
The reporting year runs from July 1 to June 30. Therefore, you will submit an annual report beginning in July. Yes, this is a change in the timing of these reports. Here are the reasons for the change:
- Charge Conferences usually begin in late August and since Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers are required to have their report approved, the January-December schedule created problems. What usually happened is that people either submitted a report that was incomplete, especially if they planned to take a training class in the fall, or, they waited to submit that year’s information until the next year’s charge conference and by then, the data was ‘stale.’
- Most districts offer training in late autumn. They are usually scheduled after a lot of charge conferences and therefore, created a problem as to submitting it in the current year. We realize that in this first year, there might be some duplicate listings of training and that is okay.
Under this new system, you can take advantage of listing any possible training events you attended over the previous 12 months and can have fresh and up-to-date information in the report you submit. As you can see below, both the online form and the print version will be available July 1. In the meantime, please use the Lay Servant or Lay Speaker record form to keep track of your training and service opportunities. You will need this information to include in your report.
You may complete your annual report online and then print two copies. One is to be shared with your local church charge conference. The other is for your own records. Your information will also be updated into a database for sharing with your District Director of Lay Servant Ministries.
In order to direct you to the proper form, please answer the following question by clicking on the response statement below:
Have you completed the six required courses (Spiritual Gifts, Preaching, UM History, UM Polity, Leading Worship, and Leading Prayer), AND
– passed a recent criminal background check, AND
– been interviewed by your District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries, AND
– been notified of your approval as a Certified Lay Speaker?
LAY SPEAKERS AND CERTIFIED LAY MINISTERS- SPECIAL NOTE:
The Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministry has voted to require background checks for all persons seeking to become a Certified Lay Speaker or Certified Lay Minister OR to renew their certification on the schedule related to their status. An individual will need to complete the screening prior to coming for interview by the respective District Committee on Lay Servant Ministry or District Committee on Ordained Ministry (for CLM). The applicant will be able to request the check via a permission form and the confidential screening will be done by Trak-1, a company used by the conference that supplies background checks for organizations across the U.S. This is another way those in leadership can demonstrate a commitment to the safety and protection of children, youth, and vulnerable adults. The fee is $10. The form to request your background check is available here.
Can I substitute another training class for one of the Advanced Courses?
Under certain conditions, you can. This page has more information as well as a writable PDF file you may use as an application for substitute credit.
Other Helpful Forms
You are responsible for your own record-keeping. It is a good practice for those pursuing, or continuing in, Lay Servant or Lay Speaker status to keep a personal record of their training and certification/recertification activities. Keep all your documentation in one folder so you can access it and review it periodically for accuracy.