October 2018   
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Links for Laity

Here are some helpful websites suggested by Ralph Thompson, Co-Lay Leader of the Rio Texas Conference:

When I have led lay leader training in various Districts, I have focused on two areas, explanation/description and resources:

UMC Website Lay Servant Ministries

Explanation/Description

  1. EVERY Lay Leader/Lay Member should have a personal copy of the Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation set or, at least, the Guidelines for Lay Leader/Lay Member. If the Lay Leader does not want to assume the expense of a personal copy or the entire set, she/he should ensure that their local congregation has a copy available for use/checkout. I HIGHLY recommend that the Lay Leader purchase the downloadable (Kindle) edition, because it can be always with them on their smartphone, tablet, notebook computer, and desktop computer. Also, since it is an electronic version, it is much easier to copy and paste segments for use in training environments. The Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation set is available at Cokesbury.com or Amazon.com.

  2. Every Lay Leader/Lay Member should have a personal copy of the Book of Discipline. I contains the “pure” description of the duties and responsibilities of the local church Lay Leader/Lay Member, as well as those of the District (and Conference) Lay Leader.

  3. Every Lay Leader/Lay Member should become familiar with their District website (www.gocrossroadsdistrict.org), the Conference site (www.riotexas.org), South Central Jurisdiction site (www.scjumc.org), and the official UMC site (www.umc.org ).  These will help create and maintain a more global and regional view of how the local congregation fits into the greater United Methodist Church connection.

    Resources

  1. Again, the District and Conference sites are the first level of resources for the local congregation. In addition to containing news and information, these sites often contain ideas and examples of ministries presented by other congregations from across the Annual Conference. Also, connections to resources and assistance could be just a click away.

  2. UMC Discipleship Ministries (formerly the General Board of Global Ministries) contains resources for worship, outreach, missions, training, discipleship, and more! This is probably the least utilized United Methodist resource. Preaching, leading, teaching, and other solutions are available and free at www.umcdiscipleship.org.  This site can help make pulpit supply a breeze!

  3. The official UMC site (www.umc.org) contains everything from media, grants, scholarship, and worship resources to preparatory resources for General Conference and other connectional activities. And the Store link on this site offers computer hardware and software at amazingly low prices, as well as a storehouse of print and other church materials for FREE!

  4. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership site (www.churchleadership.com ) is a site that people think is for clergy ONLY. Not So! This is a wonderful resource for all church leaders, especially the 50-Ways Series resource. A good Lay Leader encourages, equips, and empowers the laity to become proactive in ministry, stewardship, discipleship, and evangelism. This site is a wonderful resource for making that happen!

    These are just a few of the resources available for Lay Leaders/Lay Members in the local church, as well as lay leadership at all levels. Becoming familiar with these sites will empower and enable even novice leaders become effective and productive, while lending tangible support and assurance.