Laity Sunday, set for Oct. 20, is United Methodists' annual celebration of the work and mission of laity in their everyday lives, as well as within the church.
"Disciples Called to Action" is the Laity Sunday theme for the 2013-16 quadrennium. Worship and programming resources compiled by the General Board of Discipleship for 2013 focus on "Developing Effective Lay Leadership."
A key question for those developing leadership, writes Sandy Jackson, is "What do we expect of our leaders?" In an article she wrote before retiring in April, Discipleship's former director of connectional laity development, noted, "Effective lay leaders are a clear marker of a vital congregation. ... Imagine the positive effects in your congregation and community if your leaders were Spirit-led and grounded in the means of grace."
The business world characterizes leaders as people with vision, listening skills, judgment and confidence in guiding people and systems.
"These are needed traits for Christian leaders as well," Jackson wrote, "but I'd also add deference to spiritual discernment.
"Listening for God's guidance through prayer is the cornerstone of spiritual discernment."
Download PDFs to produce posters, bulletin covers and inserts from www.gbod.org/resource/laity-sunday-2013-poster-bulletin-cover-and-inserts.