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Bylaws proposed changes

Proposed changes to the Bylaws of the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM)

Please read through the proposed changes below.  If you are a member of NALM, and have any questions, comments, or feedback please click the link at the bottom to offer your feedback.

Deadline for feedback is Monday, July 6, 2020.


NALM plays an important role in the promotion of Lay Ministry in the United States and, with its sister organizations, works hard to strengthen lay ministry through formation of lay ministers and lay ecclesial ministers.  The current structure of NALM relies on a strong Board of Directors because the organization has been without an executive director for over 7 years.  The current by-laws were written with the assumption that the organization would have an executive director even though they were revised in 2017 to better assist the organization in its work.

While these changes were helpful, the current Board of Directors does not feel they went far enough.  For example, under the current bylaws, the role and duties of the Executive Director fall onto the Board Chair with no clarification as to how a volunteer can fulfill the important work of managing a national organization.

The Board proposes four main changes:

1.  Changes the language so that the entire Board of Directors is given the responsibilities of managing the organization (under the leadership of the Chair).  This will facilitate more easily delegation of the duties in a reasonable fashion.  Article V. Section 2. B. 7. a, b

2.  Corrects an oversight from the 2017 revision that restricted election of Officers to the March meeting.  This allows for a cleaner transition at the Membership Meeting in June.  Article VI Section 1.A.

3.  Changes the terms of office to allow for Board Officers to serve longer:  In the absence of an Executive Director, the Board Chair may serve for up to two consecutive two year terms and the other officers can be reelected to indefinite one year terms.  Because the brunt of the work of the Board is accomplished by the Officers and because the Chair serves as the “face” of the organization, the current Board feels that this consistency is vital to the success of NALM.  Article VI Section 10. A. and  B

4.  Clearly states in the Bylaws that the functions of the Executive Director that are assumed by the Board Chair may be delegated to other Board members.  Article VII Section 1.A.1.

The actual changes are noted below:

Article V.  Section 2. Responsibilities

B. 7. a.  If the Association employs an Executive Director: Hires, supervises, and evaluates the Executive Director.

b.  If the association does not employ an Executive Director: manages all aspects of the Association, including finances, human resources, and any other duties as outlined in Article VII.


Section 1. Composition

  1. Officers of the Association shall be the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Chair-Elect and Immediate Past Chair shall both serve as officers during a three-month transition period following the election of officers (from the March “Face to Face” meeting until installation of the Board at the Annual Conference).

ARTICLE VI - Section 10. Terms

  1. The Chairperson shall serve a single two (2)-year term. Should the Chairperson be selected in the second or third year of a Board term, his/her service as a Director, and the size of the Board, shall be adjusted accordingly. If the Association does not employ an Executive Director, the Chairperson is eligible for one additional consecutive term in office. Otherwise, they are only eligible for a single term.
  2. Other Officers shall serve a one (1)-year renewable term, and shall be eligible for one (1) additional consecutive term in that office.


Section 1. Employment

  1. An Executive Director may be hired and be responsible to the Board of Directors. An Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
  1. In the absence of an Executive Director position, the Chair of the Board assumes the responsibilities of the Executive Director and directs the affairs of the association in collaboration with, and the consensus of, the Board of Directors.These duties may be delegated to other members of the Board.

If you are a current member of NALM,
Click here to submit your questions, comments, or feedback.