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Certified Lay Speakers

Certified Lay Speakers serve by preaching the Word when requested by the Pastor, District Superintendent or Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1. They also:

  • Provide program leadership, assistance and support.
  • Lead meetings for prayer, training, study and discussion.
  • Conduct or assist in conducting services of worship, preaches the Word, or give addresses.
  • Provide congregational and community leadership and fosters caring ministries.
  • Assist in the distribution of the elements of Holy Communion.
  • Teach the Scriptures, doctrine, organization and ministries of The United Methodist Church.

Resources

Requirements for Certification

  • Must already be a Certified Lay Servant.
  • Pastor and Church Council or Charge Conference recommendation.
  • Completion of a track of study as defined in ¶267.3.c.
    • Discovering Spiritual Gifts, Leading Worship, Leading Prayer, Preaching, United Methodist Heritage, United Methodist Polity
  • Approval of the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries after interview, and recommendation from the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries.

» Download the application form.

Requirements for Renewal

  • Annual report and renewal application.
  • Pastor and church council or charge conference recommendation.
  • Lay Servant Ministries advanced course in the last three years.
  • Approval of the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries every three years after interview, and recommendation from the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries.

Lay Servant Training

For complete information about our upcoming training sessions, please visit the Calendar or view the list of upcoming Lay Servant Training dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Certified Lay Speaker? (¶ 267. Certified Lay Speaker)

  • A Certified Lay Speaker is a Certified Lay Servant (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference) whose call has been affirmed by the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1.
  • The certified lay speaker serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or Committee on Lay Servant Ministries, in accordance and compliance with ¶341.1. 3

What do I need to do to become a Certified Lay Speaker?

  • Be certified as a Lay Servant (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference).
  • Obtain recommendation from the pastor and the church council or charge conference of the local church in which you hold membership.
  • Complete a track of study including courses on leading worship, leading prayer, discovering spiritual gifts, preaching, United Methodist heritage and polity, and/or other courses as determined by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure.
  • Interview with and obtain recommendation from the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure, to be submitted to the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure for approval and certification.

» Download the application form.

What is the Track of Study for Certified Lay Servant?

Complete a track of study that includes:

  • Discovering Spiritual Gifts
  • Leading Worship
  • Leading Prayer
  • Preaching
  • United Methodist Heritage
  • United Methodist Polity

Who is the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries and what is their role in my certification?

The Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries is chaired by the Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries. The committee consists of the Director of Certified Lay Ministers, the Conference Lay Leader, and the District Directors of Lay Servant Ministries.

When you have completed the track of study, you apply to the District Committee of LSM for examination and be recommended to the Conference Committee of LSM for approval and certification.

What is needed to maintain status as a Certified Lay Speaker?

  • Submit an annual report to your local Charge Conference
  • Submit an application for recertification and be examined by the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries every three years
  • Receive endorsement of local church charge conference
  • Complete an advanced course for Lay Servant Ministries at least once every three years for recertification

Who needs to fill out the Lay Servant Church Conference form?

All Certified Lay Servants, Certified Lay Speakers, and Certified Lay Ministers are required to submit an annual report to their Charge Conference. This is not a new requirement and is found in Section XI. Lay Servant Ministries in the 2016 Book of Discipline.

What if I do not have a certificate from classes I have taken before?

  • If it has been in the past 2 years, please contact your District Director of Lay Servant Ministries for assistance in locating a new certificate of completion.
  • If the course was from BEADISCIPLE.COM, check old emails.
  • If the course was more than 2years ago enter the date and information you remember into the appropriate fields.

What if I have not taken an Advanced Course in the past three years (2 years for CLM)?

CLS and CLSp are required to take an Advanced LSM Course every three years to be recertified. CLMs are required to take a course every 2 years. These courses must be completed by Charge Conference the year they are due.

Special note:  The 2016 Book of Discipline added an application process to CLS and CLSp. Completing a course does not make you certified or recertified. When you have completed the course you are to fill out an application and submit it to your District Director of Lay Servant Ministry. This process has not been fully implemented yet across the BWC. For the 2017 Church Conference season the completion of the course will be accepted. In the 2018 Church Conference season the application process will be required. This means classes should be completed weeks, if not months, before your charge conference so the district can complete your application and you will have a certificate for charge conference.

Do I need a paper copy of my report?

Yes, three copies for the three signatures at your charge conference:  pastor, district superintendent, and council chair person.  These three signed copies are to be retained as follows: One copy for the church, one copy for the DS, and one for your own records.

I am a CLM but have not taken a Basic Course or Advanced LSM course.

The 2016 BOD made it a requirement for CLMs to be a Certified Lay Servant. If you have not completed the Basic LSM course or an Advanced course please type NONE in the fields for these courses. The BWC Committee on Lay Servant Ministry will be working this year to make sure all of our CLMs meet the new requirements.

District Directors of Lay Servant Ministries

The District Director of Lay Servant Ministries is a certified lay person who chairs as the District Director on the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries. In addition to the director, membership of the committee will include the district lay leader, the district superintendent, and an instructor of lay servant courses. Other resource people may be added as needed.

Learn more about who to contact about lay ministry.

Annapolis District
Myra Young

301-706-4695

Baltimore Metropolitan
Darlynn McCrea

443-254-2083

Baltimore Suburban
Darlynn McCrea

443-254-2083

Central Maryland
Pam Plummer Matthews (Co-Director)

240-498-4520

Central Maryland
Rod Fry (Co-Director)

301-633-5910

Cumberland-Hagerstown
Vivian Moore

301-759-5810

Frederick
Deborah Simms

410-259-2082

Greater Washington
Carol Travis

301-908-6501

Washington East
Linda Flanagan

301-645-1375