By Laurie Lineberry, Desert Southwest Conference Lay Leader
The Conference Lay Leader is not an ordained individual. This person is elected by the Laity of the Annual Conference every four years. This year, a new Conference Lay Leader must be elected during the Laity Session in June.
What is the Lay Leader, and what does the Lay Leader do?”
The primary function of the Lay Leader is to be the voice of Laity in all meetings, represent the voice of laity – the non-ordained…we have different perspectives. In order for clergy to serve and lead their sheep, they need our views and thoughts. The Lay Leader needs to lead by example. The Lay Leader needs to be an encourager, sometimes a counselor, always a beacon of sorts. The Lay Leader also connects with other Conference Lay Leaders. For me, it’s about lifting up the Laity. The Conference Lay Leader also organizes the Laity Session for Annual Conference.
Book of Discipline (Paragraph 603.9 and 607)
2020 Journal (Conference Rules, Policies, and Guidelines page 167)
Learn more by clicking here to read an article published by the General Board of Discipleship.
What is the time commitment for this position?
It depends on how active the Conference is and how engaged the various committees are. Pre-COVID, I had 0-4 meetings each week. If more meetings remain virtual, that will save time, for sure. I would spend 5-20 hours each week, usually around 8-10.
The Conference Lay Leader is typically a member of the following Conference committees: Commission on Communication, Board of Laity, Board of Ordained Ministry, Episcopacy, Extended Cabinet, Covenant Council, Hispanic Ministries, Sessions, Spiritual Formation, Leadership and Nominations. However, some of this list changes throughout the years adding more and removing others as needed.
Do you know someone that would make a great Conference Lay Leader? Are you interested in becoming the next Conference Lay Leader? If you intend to nominate someone, please talk to them first and affirm that they are interested in running for the position.
Applications must be received by June 1, 2020, for consideration. Click here to fill out the online form or click here for a downloadable document you may fill out and mail to Desert Southwest Conference UMC, Attn: Lay Leader, P.O. Box 32830, Phoenix, Arizona 85064.
Apply today and leave the rest in God’s hands.