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Laity Sunday - “Therefore Go! With Hope Through Purpose”

Posted: September 12 2019 at 12:00 AM
Author: Mark Manzi, NIC Co-Lay Leader


Laity Sunday, October 20, 2019: 
“Therefore Go! With Hope Through Purpose”  

Laity Sunday focuses on the celebration of the ministry of all lay Christians. A Sunday to commemorate, recognize, and honor the partnership between ministry and laity in every church. It may be a Sunday where the lay leaders and lay servants lead the worship service.

The work of laypeople has always been essential to the life of the church and making disciples of Jesus Christ. During the Wesleyan Movement, both Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury carried on John and Charles Wesley’s legacy of equipping and empowering laity to be in ministry. They then provided leadership for this methodical system of discipleship. Through the ministry of the laity, more and more people made a commitment to Christ, were nurtured in the faith, were equipped for ministry, and were sent out to be in ministry with others. The movement was alive because the ministry partnership between laity and the clergy was also alive.

Today, when we reach out and receive new people in our churches by building relationships with them, are we also offering them opportunities to commit themselves to Jesus Christ? Are we offering opportunities for growth in personal holiness through a relationship with Christ and others? If we are to reclaim the movement and truly #SeeAllThePeople, we must be harbingers of HOPE—the core process of discipleship, the method of Methodism:

  • Hospitality—We go into the world in outreach and mission, offering hope through the proclamation of the gospel, seeking, welcoming, and gathering as we offer (and receive) hospitality to (and from) those not yet in the body.
  • Offer Christ—We provide opportunities for people to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and Spirit and profession of faith.
  • Purpose—We nurture people in Christian living to help them find a true sense of purpose in life, as they learn what it means to live out their beliefs through acts of piety and acts of mercy, Christian conferencing, and regular participation in the sacrament of Holy Communion and other means of grace.
  • Engagement —Through engagement, we again offer and receive hospitality. 

On Laity Sunday, we celebrate that all of us, laity and clergy, are called to go and make disciples in a world so desperately in need of hope through our humble service. Jesus modeled the process for us in Mark 10:45 (For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”). Coke and Asbury lived it out in their own lives. Therefore, go!

Need help? Looking for ideas? Please call/email your District Lay Leader or your Co-Conference Lay Leader. Visit www.umcnic.org/laity for more information.

Jessie Cunningham
Elisa Gatz
Mark Manzi
Co-Conference Lay Leaders 

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