The laity, those who are not ordained, form 95% of our churches and are therefore a vital and wonderfully diverse source of ministry in our parishes!
God has given giftings and callings to each of us and longs for us to discover and use them to build his Kingdom. And not just in our church buildings, but wherever we are in our everyday lives.
It’s great that you’re exploring a possible call to serve and lead. We’d love to support you as you take this journey of discernment.
Step 1: Who am I?
As a starting point, it’s good to spend time discovering how God has shaped you - download this vocations tool to help you. This enables you to explore your gifts, passions, abilities, personality and experiences, thinking about how God has used these in the past and might be equipping you for future ministry.
All talents and gifts matter and can be used by God, no matter how insignificant or unusual they seem to you. He has shaped us for his good purposes - we simply need to accept his invitation to follow and serve him.
Step 2: Here I am!
Following this personal exploration, you may sense a call to a recognised form of lay leadership, such as:
- Leading a small midweek Bible study group;
- Co-ordinating a welcome or hospitality team for Sunday services;
- Serving in Children’s or Youth Ministry as a volunteer leader;
- Becoming a PCC member;
- Serving as the Parish Safeguarding Officer;
- Serving in the office of Churchwarden or treasurer
Speak to your incumbent or another church leader about exploring one of these roles. Training will be given to you locally or through the diocesan team to equip you to serve.
Did you know you can also be trained to preach, lead services or offer pastoral care? If you sense a nudge to these roles, then speak to your incumbent who will be able to help you discern this call and put you forward for training through the lay leader training pathway
You may sense a nudge to some theological study to deepen your discipleship and we have two routes through which you can “dip your toes” into theology:
- Try out a theology module as an auditing student on the Local Ministry Programme
- Join the Foundations in Ministry Programme for two years to train as a Lay Associate Minister and serve your church in a role that suits your gifting and calling
Step 3: Send me!
Perhaps God is calling you to serve in a You-shaped way by creating a new community or interest group, using your workplace skills to serve the local church or setting up a faith group in your workplace? Do you want to use your passion for cooking, administration, sport or something else to connect with others and share your faith? Listen to that nudge, explore it with God and with other Christians and step out in faith!
If you have any other questions about lay vocation or discernment, please either speak to your own incumbent or contact the Diocesan Training Lead who’ll be happy to help.
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”