Mission Center: Mission Leadership

Q: What is lay leadership?
A: All people of God are empowered for ministry through their baptism. Laity and clergy alike share the ministry of reconciling the world to God, by acting to increase love and justice in the world. Lay Leaders and clergy alike are called to exercise our ministry 24/7/365, and the places where we live and work and play are the places we are called to partner with God – to be “on mission” as “ministers.”

Q: Who are lay leaders?
A: The 99.2 percent of the church (the laity – the non-ordained), regardless of whether they are licensed or not, paid or not – especially since licensed and/or paid lay leaders are such a tiny percentage of the church. By far, most lay leaders serve God outside the church. Inside the church, the Lay Leaders bring the gifts and skills of the world to serve the church. In the world, every baptized person can lead, by practicing a Christ-centered life.

Q: What do they do?
A: Lay Leaders, along with clergy, ARE the church. They do what people do – live, work, play. As Christians, we are all called to live our lives in such a way that we bring about a more just and more loving world. We don’t always do it, but that’s what our faith inspires, equips, and calls us to do. God willing, the church does that, too

Q: How do we recognize them?
A: As the old song says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love” (with the understanding that justice is the public face of love). We recognize Christians by their deep joy and by their practice of self-giving.

Q: What can I do?
A: You can do what you are called to do – to take action, for God’s sake, to make the world a more loving and more just place – and you can do it wherever you are.
You can do it with anyone who’s willing to partner with you – believer or not.
You *can* do it, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
You can do it with or without the support / blessing of the church.
And lay leaders can bring the stories of their ministry back to their worshipping community, where those stories will inspire and encourage others.

Q: How can lay leaders make this happen?
A: By taking their baptism seriously, and by calling on God to partner with them.
By using all the resources their church offers – liturgy, prayer, teaching, fellowship, and more – to equip themselves for this work.
By responding to the needs they see, in the places where they are, in order to bring love and justice, in whatever form is appropriate.
By seeking the support and partnership both of fellow believers and of those whose belief is not known to them.
By telling the story, both inside and outside the church, about their work and about why they are doing the work, in a way that their listeners can be encouraged/invited to join in the work.


Resources »


Why Serve 2012
6/6/2012  - 6/10/2012    - Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA

More Events

Back to Top