Certified Lay Minister Training –
Responding to God’s Call with Passion
By Joan Holms
We often talk about transforming the church, recognizing the need for the laity to lead the way. However, as a layperson, I often find it difficult, to find relevant leadership training. I believe this ministry provides a great opportunity for equipping our laity to lead the church into the future.
This past weekend, I found myself in the Banquet Room of Wesley Homes (Des Moines, Wash.) with about 50 other laypersons, Bishop Grant Hagiya, and members of the Cabinet and Conference Staff as we embarked on the adventure that was… Certified Lay Minister (CLM) Training! It was a whirlwind of training, conversation, questioning, discussion… what fun we had!
Many of the laity in attendance are currently serving churches as CLM’s in the Pacific Northwest and Oregon-Idaho Conferences. From the Alaska Conference, two representatives joined us with the intent of designing a similar training for their laity. A number of participants were exploring the possibility of becoming certified. Others, myself included, were merely looking for training that will strengthen our ministry in the local church, district or conference.
With such topics as: Wesleyan Theology, led by Bishop Hagiya; Biblical Interpretation; Preaching with Passion and Purpose; Designing and Leading Worship, to name only a few, we were quickly and deeply immersed in learnings around all aspects of church leadership. As a layperson, I have never before found an event that challenged me and stretched my thinking to the extent that this one did. It left me wanting more.
As I chatted with many of our Certified Lay Ministers I enjoyed hearing their stories about the communities they serve. These committed, leaders can provide a great inspiration to all lay members of our conference. They do this work because they have heard a call to lead and are answering that call with a resounding “Here I Am Lord, Send Me”. The room was filled with great examples of the giftedness of the laity of the United Methodist Church. I am grateful for each and every one. I pray each of us will respond with such passion when God calls.
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