Laity and Ministry Resources
As a Lay Leader of your local church, you may be wondering about your role. If you are in need of more information in understanding your role, you will find two resources of help. Speak with your pastor or check your church library for a copy of the Book of Discipline. The role of a Lay Leaders is defined in paragraph 251. This includes participation as a member of several important committees or teams for your congregation. Also, the Guidelines booklet from Cokesbury titled "Lay Leader / Lay Member" can be helpful to you. The Conference website offers some resources as well under the Laity Leadership tab. Below is an excerpt from some of the materials provided by the Conference Lay Ministry Team.
Leadership - Activities
While your actual work as Lay Leader will develop out of your individual gifts, calling, and passion, in collaboration with your Pastor, here are some specific ideas to enhance your effectiveness:
- Model a partnership with the Pastor, meeting regularly with him or her.
- Be positive and focused on the main thing ("the mission"): making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- Relate effectively to the congregation and other local leaders.
- Attend Training for Lay Leadership Development and Lay Servant Ministries.
- Encourage teamwork between the Pastor and lay leadership.
- Work to strengthen the relationship between the Pastor and the congregation.
- Communicate with the District Lay Leaders periodically.
- Meet with Lay Leaders from other congregations and promote the sharing of good ideas.
- Attend at least 2 learning events in the District or Conference per year.
- Read Parts II and III of the Discipline (pp. 43-90 in 2012 version) to become familiar with our Doctrine, Theology, and the Mission & Ministry of the Church.
- Inspire and motivate the congregation to move in an outward, evangelical focus. Set an example by being involved in the community yourself.
- Promote good ideas with leaders of committees and teams.
- Organize learning/spiritual events for laity, or see that they are organized.
- Communicate the joy and synergism of serving Christ together.
- Focus longer-term to see the bigger picture.
- Practice excellent communication skills - both spoken and written.
- Work with the Pastor to identify committed lay persons who may be called to leadership in the congregation's ministry and help develop them as leaders.
- Missouri Conference Website, www.momethodist.org
- The United Methodist Church, www.umc.org
- Discipleship Ministries of UMC, www.umcdiscipleship.org
- Lewis Center for Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.com
Lay Servant Ministries serves to help enlist, train, guide and support lay servants as they equip others "for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:12). We are all called to serve, using our gifts and talents to glorify God. The three main tenets are leading, caring and communicating.
Lay Servant ministry leadership has many forms. It can include leading Bible studies and mission trips, and it can also include leading the ministries of the church. Lay Servants show care in all they do. They participate in caring and visitation ministries, welcome strangers and new members, start new caring ministries for the community and much more. And Lay Servants are called to share the good news of Jesus with others. This comes in many forms, sometimes in a pulpit and sometimes in living out their faith in their daily lives.
Lay Servant Ministry Coordinators serve Districts and Conferences throughout the United Methodist system. Coordinators, with the help of the District Lay Leaders and District Superintendent, identify the need for new educational opportunities for laity. They organize such events, make laity aware of events in other districts, and report changes to the Lay Servant ministry via Jurisdictional and General Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Courses are offered throughout the state at different times of the year, and the annual School of Lay Ministry is held each July. There are also online courses offered through Disciple Ministries. Some examples of online courses include, "Connecting and Leading Lay Volunteers in Ministry"; "Creating A Digital Ministry Workshop"; "Evangelism: How To Love Your Neighbors To Christ"; "Congregational Leadership-Church Administration"; and many more. Please visit www.beadisciple.com to see course offerings. You can also visit www.moumethodist.org/layservantministries to learn more about Lay Servant ministries.
The District Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator is also responsible for keeping track of Lay Servant ministry courses taken by laity within the District. Email Yvette Richards at St. James UMC for more information.
Lay Servant's Annual Report
Click the link to view the Lay Speaker's Annual Report form for the report of the Lay Speaker to charge conference.
Your first step is to write to the District Superintendent (DS) including your statement of call and request admission to the candidacy process. The DS will enter your information online and request an invitation be sent to you; the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry (GBHEM) office will send you an invitation by email, which includes instructions to log in, create a password, and enroll online in the candidacy program.
For more information on the candidacy process, visit the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry Beginning Candidacy web page.