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Lay Ministry Opportunities

Laity have been at the heart of the United Methodist church since its beginning.  While circuit riders came and went between multiple charges, the laity provided consistency, shepherding, and care for each other.  The role of laity is no less important in today’s church and we desire to help equip the laity of the South Georgia conference to continue to live out this rich heritage.  There are three certified levels of lay ministry training available to laity who want to grow in their leadership within the local church. 



Lay Servant Training

Lay Servant training is designed to educate those persons interested in stretching their faith to participate more fully in the ministries of the church.  They have three main areas of focus: Leading, Caring, and Communicating. 

  • Leading- Lay servant leadership takes many forms.  Lay Servants provide leadership for small groups, mission endeavors, community organizations, worship settings, committees and teams, and more.  
  • Caring- Lay servants provide a caring presence in all they do.  They may participate in visitation, welcoming and hosting guests, new member care, establishing local mercy ministries, prison ministry, and care for pastors and staff. 
  • Communicating- Lay servants, like all believers, are called to share the good news of Christ with others.  This can occur through sharing an encouraging word with those who are suffering, speaking out for those who can’t speak for themselves, or presenting the gospel through preaching, teaching, or speaking.  Most importantly this happens through leading a life that exhibits Christ in all they do. 

There are two levels of certification for Lay Servants:

Basic- The basic class is based on Cokesbury’s book, “Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course,” which teaches a basic understanding of ministry in the United Methodist Tradition.  Included in the course is the following:

  • Wesleyan Tradition and Foundations
  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Servant Leadership
  • Caring Ministries
  • Communicating
  • Sharing Your Faith

Advanced- The advanced class, based on Cokesbury’s book, “Each One a Minister,”  by William Carter is a study of the book of Ephesians and what it teaches us about how we are called to use our spiritual gifts.  Included in the course is the following:

  • Ephesians 1- Being a chosen member of God’s family
  • Ephesians 2- Living out our spiritual inheritance
  • Ephesians 3- Our job and mission as the church
  • Ephesians 4- Using our gifts
  • Ephesians 5- The posture of leadership
  • Ephesians 6- Armed for the Fight
  • Exploring how to use your gifts
  • Prepare and execute a 5-minute talk
Certification Level   Requirements for Certification Requirements for Renewal
Basic Lay Servant
  • Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course
  • No certificate given at the Basic level
  • Annual report at Charge Conference 
  • Pastor and Church Council or charge conference recommendation
Advanced Lay Servant
  • Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course
  • Lay Servant Ministries Advanced Course
  • Certificate issued after completion of both courses
  • Annual report at Charge Conference 
  • Pastor and Church Council or charge conference recommendation
  • Take advanced course every 3 years

All Lay Servant Basic and Advanced courses offered in the district can be found here:

Click here to download the Current Lay Servant Catalog from Discipleship Ministries.

Certified Lay Minister

A Certified Lay Minister shall preach the Word, provide care to the congregation, assist in program leadership, witness to the community, develop new and existing faith communities, lead small groups, and establish outreach ministries.  The CLM is supported by a mutual ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person and mentor.  A certified lay minister is assigned by a district superintendent in accordance with ¶419.2 in the Book of Discipline.

The Certified Lay Minister training builds on the foundation established in the Basic and Advanced Lay Servant courses in which participants: 

  • Develop a Mutual Ministry Team which covenants with them and supports them as long as they are CLMs. 
  • Attend 6 class sessions:
    • Worship
    • Discipleship
    • Preaching
    • Congregational Care
    • Leadership
    • Methodist Connection and Heritage
  • Create a Spiritual Rule of Life
  • Shadow a mentor and participate in a practical care/visitation
  • Read two books: “How People Grow” by Cloud/Townsend and “Living our Beliefs” by Carder
  • Prepare and deliver a 15-minute message and receive feedback
  • Develop relationships with other CLMs who are on a similar path
  • Discern God’s calling for their lives in this season
Certification Requirements            Educational Requirements                                                 

  Requirements for Renewal 

  • Pastor or Church recommendation on MMT
  • Completion of course and assignments
  • Background Check
  • DCOM Interview form
  • Approval from District Committee on Ministry


  • Completion of all 6 CLM classes 
  • Mutual Ministry Team (MMT) Covenant
  • Leads Discipleship Meeting with MMT
  • Sermon Outline and teaching notes
  • Spiritual Rule of Life
  • Care/Visitation Log
  • Read “How People Grow”
  • Read “Living Our Beliefs”
  • Annual report at Charge Conference 
  • Annual meeting with MMT for review and evaluation
  • Obtains 1 CEU every 2 years
  • Completion of Renewal Form
  • Recommendation from DCOM

All Certified Lay Ministry courses offered in the district can be found here:

Have questions about Lay Ministry Training?  E-mail for more information.

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Conference Office

3040 Riverside Dr., Suite A-2 - Macon, GA 31210


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3040 Riverside Dr., Suite A-2 - Macon, GA 31210


Camping & Retreat Ministries

99 Arthur J. Moore Dr - St Simons Is., GA 31522

PO Box 20408 - - St Simons Is., GA 31522


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Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.