Virginia Conference Board of Laity
The purpose of the Virginia Conference Board of Laity is to create a culture of call by engaging, equipping, and empowering laity so that they might effectively partner with each other and their pastors to live out God’s call as they lead the church in transforming the world as disciples of Jesus Christ. To do this, the Board is divided into three teams, each lead by an Associate Conference Lay Leader. (Click here to download a roster of Board of Laity members – pdf)
The Engaging Team has as the focus of its work:
• Developing ways to identify and mentor lay leadership,
• Emphasizing the culture of call for all laity, and
• Assisting the local church in promoting a holistic model of stewardship through prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
A holistic model of stewardship encourages churches to look at stewardship as more than money. In “Components of a Wesleyan Stewardship,” Bishop Kenneth L. Carder says that: “Christian stewardship is our vocation to share in God’s mission of compassion, generosity and justice. Christian stewardship is an expression of love for God and neighbor, a necessary component of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and integral to the church’s preaching and teaching.”
The Equipping Team focuses on leadership excellence by:
• Teaching and modeling the culture of call for all laity within our congregations,
• Working with Leadership Development and Nominations Committees to discover and support the gifts of the laity of each congregation, and
• Developing resources and training opportunities.
Lay Servant Ministries are a vital component of the Equipping Team. Committed lay persons who have become either local church or certified lay speakers are finding a myriad of ways to serve Christ — in care facilities, as teachers and instructors, mentors and youth coordinators, and more. For more information about Lay Servant Ministries, click here.
The Empowering Team assists in:
• Strengthening the shared ministry between clergy and laity
• Offering training for local church Lay Leaders. To view the materials, select “Local Church Lay Leaders” from the “Laity” menu. Additional resources for lay leadership can be found by selecting “Lay Leadership Resources” from the menu.
• Advocating for the laity and promoting Laity Sunday, and
• Assessing the needs of the local church, especially in area of lay leadership development and connecting people with resources.
Laity Sunday is October 20, 2019. Resources may be found on the UMC Discipleship website:
One skill building for leaders is “Partners in Ministry” training which emphasizes pastors and lay leadership working together. Information about the “Partners in Ministry” program can be found in the “Handbook for Lay Leaders.”
For additional information about the work of the Board of Laity, visit the specific pages of our website or contact the Office of Congregational Excellence.