Contact Associate Director for Lay Leadership Development - Laura Witkowski
The Social Principles of The UMC are a prayerful and thoughtful effort of the General Conference to speak to the issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation.
The Ministry of the Laity
As baptized Christians, we are all called to carry out the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20 – to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Laity have been instrumental in the growth of The United Methodist Church since its beginning, and were called to lead congregations between visits of the circuit-riding clergy. Today, that tradition continues in successful congregations, where the partnership of the clergy and laity leads to vibrant missions and ministries.
Each month, this page will have a highlighted resource.
Laity called to...
The Board of Laity considered this call of the laity. Click here to check out their responses!
What is a Disciple? What does a Disciple look like? What does it mean to be a Disciple?
The Board of Laity considered these questions. Click here to check out their responses!
Conference Lay Leader
District Lay Leaders
Central Bay: Denny Wissinger
East Winds: Bonnie Potter & Cynthia Rossman
Greater Detroit: Ruby Anderson & Ken Dowell
Greater Southwest: Wynne Hurlbut
Heritage: John Seppanen
Mid-Michigan: Dawn Levey
Northern Skies: Rick Gregg
Northern Waters: Beth Pelkey
LEADING MEETINGS RESOURCES
Have you ever led a church meeting? Maybe you have never led any meetings. It can be intimidating. And are your meeting agendas simply a list of tasks that need to get done? When leading meetings, it's important to combine tasks and faith. Each committee or task force or working group can become a faith community where the Holy One's presence is known. Whether you are the chairperson of the church leadership team or a task force or committee, hopefully, these tips and resources will help!
What Every Leader Needs to Know About Leading Meetings, by Betsey Heavner
This booklet from Discipleship Ministries and the Upper Room offers helpful tips. These 10 tips are adapted from that resource found HERE.
- Consider what result the committee is looking for. Ask questions. Gather information about the task. Understand the expectations. Read the job description. While you're gathering this information you are already building relationships and networking with others. *Working on a task alone will lead to frustration and even conflict.
- Think prayerfully about those you are leading in ministry. This team is the place where God will work among the people of your congregation and in the world. They will all bring different skills and experiences to the task.
- Name the ground rules or group covenant at the first gathering and revisit it frequently.
- Do not schedule a meeting unless there is a clear reason to have one.
- Start and end on time.
- Encourage participation from everyone.
- Share the agenda ahead of time. Possible ongoing meeting agenda:
- Gathering - A ritual that welcomes the presence of the Holy Spirit, faith sharing, devotion, prayer
- Listening - Hearing reports on the progress of current projects, proposals for action, focus on ministry items, Reflect: How does our work support the mission, vision and values of the church?
- Commitment/Decision on Actions - Based on reports, make decisions for action, be clear on assignments for implementation
- Sending Forth - Recap decisions/actions, decide on next meeting date, close with prayer
- Be prepared for conflict. Change is difficult, but conflict doesn’t have to be. Conflict is normal and is a sign of life. Have a plan for when conflict arises.
- Have some fun!
- As you prepare, take a moment to ask God for courage and wisdom as you take on the challenge of combining the business of the church with the spiritual development of the group members.
"Spiritual leadership expresses the hope that God's transforming love will infuse individual lives, small groups, congregations and the world." - Betsey Heavner
Tips for Hybrid Meetings
So many meetings these days are in a hybrid form. Some participants are in a room together physically and some are on a video conferencing platform. Have you thought about being sure everyone is included in conversations and relationship building regardless of which mode members are attending? Here are a few tips for effective hybrid meetings.
1. Test the technology in advance of the meeting, for both online and in-room participants.
2. Share presentations or documents in advance and have one person share their screen so online participants can see the information. If the meeting is only for information sharing, consider not meeting if a discussion is not appropriate or share information in advance and save the meeting for discussion.
3. Make sure you include the call-in number along with instructions for connection to allow those having trouble with computer audio to call into the meeting.
4. Assign a facilitator to encourage engagement with online participants, checking to see that they can be heard and watching for questions in chat or hands raised.
5. Acknowledge all participants and set expectations at the start of the meeting for engagement. Let those connecting online speak first.
6. Consider how online participants will engage in each activity or exercise. Consider what tools or technology can increase their interaction with those who are in-room participants.
7. Remember that a hybrid meeting is the most inclusive form of meeting. It allows people to connect from wherever they are, in whatever fashion that they can.
Local Church Leadership
Do you have a role in your local church leadership? The UMC's Discipleship Ministries offers descriptions of nearly all the jobs and volunteer roles in The United Methodist Church. Find them HERE.
ResourceUMC has lots of great leadership resources and tools. If you are looking for something in particular, start HERE.