Lay Servant Ministries (LACE)
What is Lay Servant Ministries?
Lay Servant Ministries is one of the most significant lay leadership development programs available within the United Methodist connection. Through this equipping and empowering system, lay servants have the opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ who then go and make other disciples.
Lay Servant Ministries can be a significant component of any intentional discipleship system, particularly systems based on the core process or cycle of discipleship described in ¶122 of The Book of Discipline. Laity are the primary agents of holy love incarnate in the world: The witness of the laity, their Christ-like examples of everyday living as well as the sharing of their own faith experience of the gospel, is the primary evangelistic ministry through which all people will come to know Christ and The United Methodist Church will fulfill its mission." (2016 Book of Discipline, ¶127, "The Ministry of the Laity," p.97)
In this sense, lay discipleship is always leadership and leadership is always evangelism-because all who follow Jesus lead others to him. Laity are called to be disciples-and disciples lead others to Christ.
Discipleship begins with relationship. When we "see all the people" God calls us to love (#SeeAllThePeople), we discover that engaging relationships with others are more than marching orders for outreach and mission: they are the very source of our own spiritual growth and means of grace. (For resources related to #SeeAllThePeople, visit: SeeAllThePeople.org.)
Discipleship systems driven by engagement create opportunities for spiritual growth and build new relationships outside our church walls. Through authentic and consistent experiences of God's grace, new disciples grow deeper in faith and are sent into the world to share Christ's love in mission and outreach. Disciples extend hospitality to those not yet in the body of Christ; they offer Christ by providing an opportunity for people to commit their lives in Christian living to help them find a true sense of purpose in life and what it means to live out their faith into action by helping to transform the surrounding community through engagement in mission and ministry as they offer hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ. Lay Servant Ministries is about equipping and empowering people as disciples who lead others to a vibrant and world-transforming faith in Jesus Christ.