Certified Lay Ministry

Why Become a Certified Lay Minister?
By becoming a CLM, you will have received the training and credentials to take your ministry to the next level. New avenues of ministry will open up before you. Certified Lay Ministers may provide pastoral leadership in a small congregation, serve as an assistant to a clergy leader, serve in your church’s pastoral care program, serve as a campus minister, participate in or lead a new church start team, and so forth. Note: If you are already serving a small membership church as “Lay Supply,” the Book of Discipline now says you are required in the first year either to begin the candidacy process for licensed or ordained ministry OR go through the Certified Lay Ministry training and credentialing process.

What is a Certified Lay Minister?
In 2004, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church approved legislation to form a category of ministry for laity: certified lay minister. A certified lay minister is a unique, recognized lay servant in the UMC intended for missional leadership in churches as part of a team ministry under the supervision of a clergyperson. Using laity and their gifts has been a part of the Methodist movement almost from the beginning. Certified Lay Ministers continue a historic tradition resembling earlier exhorters, class leaders, lay preachers, and missioners.

What does a Certified Lay Minister do?
They are called and equipped to conduct public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new and existing faith communities, preach the Word, lead small groups, or establish community ministries as part of a ministry team.

How is a Certified Lay Minister connected, supported, and put to work?
CLMs are assigned by the district superintendent and operate under a system of training, support, supervision, and accountability.

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