A Note to Laity

Lay Servant and Certified Lay Minister reports are to be submitted online this year. If you have not received a login please email Beverly Karlovich at bkarlovich@gnjumc.org and provide your full name, email address and phone number.

To access the Arena website http://member.gnjumc.org
Be sure to read the FAQ for helpful tips and information regarding completing the reports.

Lay Servant Ministries is a program to provide training opportunities and experiences to equip disciples of Jesus Christ to realize and respond to their personal call to ministry. Lay Servant Ministries strive to help disciples become aware of their particular gifts by offering education to enhance and develop the skills necessary to bring them to fruition. It is an excellent way for people to be better servants of Jesus Christ, to become stronger church leaders, and to more capably assist their pastors.

What is a Lay Servant

A United Methodist Lay Servant is an active member of a local church or charge who is ready and desirous to serve the Church and who is well informed on and committed to the Scriptures and the doctrine, heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church and who has received specific training to develop skills in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken communications, church and community leadership, and care-giving ministries. Lay Servants serve by leading, caring and communicating.

Leading
Lay Servants combine words and actions in leadership roles within their churches and communities.

Caring
Lay Servants care for others. Some are involved in crisis ministries, such as visiting grieving families. Lay servants share a ministry of caring one-on-one with people in times of need and in times of joy, and show their faith by responding to others with care–giving love and service.

Communicating
Lay Servants often fill pulpits, lead Bible studies, or speak in youth and children’s groups, healthcare centers, retirement centers, prison ministries, and more.

Lay Servant Ministries is a program to provide training opportunities and experiences to equip disciples of Jesus Christ to realize and respond to their personal call to ministry.  Lay Servant Ministries strive to help disciples become aware of their particular gifts by offering education to enhance and develop the skills necessary to bring them to fruition. It is an excellent way for people to be better servants of Jesus Christ, to become stronger church leaders, and to more capably assist their pastors.

Four Types of Lay Servants: Basic Lay Servants, Certified Lay Servants, Certified Lay Speakers and Certified Lay Ministers.

Basic Lay Servants

  • Support, serve and minister to the local church;
  • Look for leadership opportunities in the local church;
  • File a report with their Church or Charge Conference every year; and
  • Take a refresher course every three years to remain a Local Church Lay Servant.

To become a Basic Lay Servant, you are required to:

  1. Apply in writing to the appropriate committee and be recommended by the pastor and church council or the charge conference of the local church in which membership is held.
  2. Complete the basic course for Lay Servant.
  3. To maintain status, a report and reapplication with recommendations must be submitted annually and a refresher course once every three years.

Certified Lay Servants

  • Support, serve and minister to the local church and beyond;
  • Can be utilized by other congregations;
  • Look for leadership opportunities in the local church and beyond;
  • File a report with their Charge or Church Conference every year; and
  • Be recertified every three years to be a Certified Lay Servant. Ways to be recertified are listed on this website.

To become a Certified Lay Servant you are required to:

  1. Apply in writing to the appropriate committee and be recommended by the pastor and church council or the charge conference of the local church in which membership is held.
  2. Complete both basic and one advanced training course for Lay Servant Ministries.
  3. Have had qualifications reviewed by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries and the annual charge conference.
    The registration form needs to be signed by your pastor and you need to notify your District Director of Lay Servant Ministries of your intent to participate in the Advanced Lay Servant classes. If you have any questions regarding these classes, please contact your District Director of Lay Servant Ministry.

Certified Lay Speaker

To become a Certified Lay Speaker you are required to:

  1. To complete a course of study that includes the Lay Servant Basic Course, and leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching and the United Methodist Church heritage and polity.
  2. Complete any other courses required by the conference committee or equivalent structure.
  3. Must be recommended by the pastor of the local church where membership and by a vote of the charge conference.

Upon completion of course work, the Lay Speaker will be examined by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure and recommended to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure for certification.

A Lay Speaker must apply for re-certification and appear before the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure every three years and must receive the endorsement of the local church charge conference.

Certified Lay Minister

A Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a qualified United Methodist layperson called to congregational leadership as part of a ministry team under the supervision of a clergy person, but who often serves the church in many other ways.

  1. Conduct public worship
  2. Care for the congregation
  3. Assist in program leadership
  4. Develop new and existing faith communities
  5. Preach the Word
  6. Lead small groups
  7. Establish community outreach ministries

 

Requirements to become a Certified Lay Minister:

  1. Be an active Certified Lay Servant or a Certified Lay Speaker.
  2. Be recommended by the pastor of the local church where membership is held and by vote of the church council or charge conference.
  3. Complete courses including preaching and exegesis, the care of the congregation, and other courses as recommended by the General Board of
  4. Discipleship and General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in consultation with leaders in the annual conference, and other appropriate agencies and organizations.
  5. Demonstrate appreciation of the history, polity, doctrine, worship and liturgy of The United Methodist Church through service in the local church.
  6. Be recommended by the district superintendent after completion of appropriate screening.
  7. Apply in writing to the District Committee on Ordained Ministry.
  8. Appear before the District Committee on Ordained Ministry for review and approval.

A certified lay minister is to apply in writing for re-certification biannually to the District Committee on Ordained Ministry.

If you’d like to explore Certified Lay Ministry, talk with your pastor about the process.

For more information, please contact: