What’s my job? An effective Lay Leader functions as the primary representative of and role model for Christian discipleship and faith lived out in the church and in daily life for the people of a congregation. The Lay Leader works with the pastor to fulfill the mission and vision of the congregation.

Who is qualified for this job? Spiritual gifts: servanthood, faith, compassion, apostleship

Experience, skills: A Lay Leader should be a growing Christian disciple who understands that everyone has spiritual gifts and experience that are vital to the Body of Christ (See 1 Corinthians 12). This person benefits from knowing his or her own spiritual gift(s) and living out those gifts in congregational life.

This leader should be a living example of one who “loves God and loves neighbor.” It is important for a lay leader to listen well
and communicate with people of all ages. This person should show evidence of working well with both clergy and laity, with various teams and task groups. The Lay Leader must have the ability to keep a broad view of the separate parts of the congregation and help align the entire ministry toward the mission of the church. The lay leader should show interest in connecting the congregation with the community and the world in order to participate in the petition of the Lord’s Prayer “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.”

What does the Lay Leader do?

This leader represents the lay people in the congregation and is a role model of Christian discipleship for the congregation. This leader examines ways the congregation as a whole and as individuals can be involved in caring ministries in the community. He or she wsork with the pastor and other leaders to launch or strengthen ministries that build discipleship and increase God’s presence of caring, justice and love in the world. The Lay Leader makes plans with leaders in the congregation for celebrating the ministry of laypeople throughout the year, and especially on Laity Sunday. The Lay Leader learns about the actions taken at annual conference and by the General Conference and shares this information with members of the congregation. The Lay Leader meets regularly with the pastor to discuss the state of the church and the opportunities for ministry.

Where can I get help? Getting Started:

Study Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation 2013-2016: Lay Leader/Lay Member Equip yourself with lay speaker training, Certified Lay Minister training, and other leadership training. Establish a regular meeting with the pastor of the congregation in order to advance the mission and ministry of the congregation in your community.

People and Agencies:
Your pastor and active lay people, people in your community. InfoServ, a service providing current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Jodi Cataldo, jcataldo@UMCdiscipleship.org, Discipleship Ministries, P.O. Box 340003, Nashville, TN 37203-0003; (877) 899-2780; www.umcdiscipleship.org
Web and Print (some books are recently out of print; if you can’t find copies in bookstores, email Discipleship Ministries staff listed above for a copy as long as supplies last)

Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation: Lay Leader/Lay Member The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2012 Webinar: One hour overview of the role and responsibilities Being a Christian in the Wesleyan Tradition by John O. Gooch Each One a Minister: Using God’s Gifts for Ministry by William J. Carter Interpreter magazine A Brief History of The United Methodist Church (Discipleship Resources) Job Descriptions and Leadership Training in the United Methodist Church 2013-2016 by Betsey Heavner Lay Servant Ministries: Basic Course 2013-2016 by Sandy Zeigler Jackson and Brian Jackson. Available in Korean and Spanish Living Our United Methodist Beliefs: A Leader’s Guide by George Hovaness Donigian Learning and Leading courses. Multiple titles by various authors. The United Methodist Way by Branson Thurston Three Simple Rules by Rueben Job What Every Leader Needs to Know About Spiritual Leadership by Mike A Bealla