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Laity Sunday 2016: Living Vital Worship



Is worship a noun or is it a verb? Is worship something you go to, or is it something you live? This year's theme for Laity Sunday, "Disciples Called to Action: Living Vital Worship," urges seeing worship not as passive spectators, but as active participants. Indeed, worship is something that we live!

The scripture references for Laity Sunday, Oct. 16 this year, unfold worship in several different ways:

  • Worship as love: Matthew 22:37-39
  • Worship as discipline: Matthew 16:24
  • Worship as justice: Micah 6:8
  • Worship as evangelism: Matthew 28:19-20

Looked at from this perspective, worship breathes life and vitality! Disciples of Jesus Christ are called to be engaged in worship through the love of God and neighbor, through personal spiritual disciplines, through acts of justice, and by going and taking God's love into the world. Worship really is transformational discipleship, and the Wesleyan movement was a vivid example of worship as a verb — living... vital.

In The United Methodist Church, laity take seriously their call to live worship through ministry as lay leaders, lay servants, lay ministers, missionaries, deaconesses, home missioners, class leaders, liturgists, lay speakers, congregational care ministers, youth directors, Christian educators, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men and in many other roles.

Laity Sunday this year celebrates that true worship can only happen when laity and clergy live it together. Without the vital ministry of the laity, The United Methodist Church would not be as it is today. Laity and clergy are disciples called to action, to living vital worship!

Laity Sunday worship resources downloadable from the Discipleship Ministries website include an order of worship, notes for worship and music leaders and preaching notes. Find those and other planning aids at

Adapted from "Laity Sunday 2016: Living Vital Worship" by Jodi Cataldo, director of laity in leadership, originally published at Discipleship Ministries,