Paragraph 251 of our UMC Book of Discipline specifies the role of the Lay Leader of a local church. In part this paragraph states:

¶251: Out of the professing membership of each local church, there shall be elected by the
Charge Conference a Lay Leader who shall function as the primary lay representative of the
laity in that local church and shall have the following responsibilities:

251a) fostering awareness of the role of laity both within the congregation and through their
ministries in the home, workplace, community and world, and finding ways within the
community of faith to recognize all these ministries;

251b) meeting regularly with the pastor to discuss the state of the church and the needs for

251c) membership in the Charge Conference and the Church Council, the Committee on
Finance and the Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development, where, along with
the pastor, the Lay Leader shall serve as an interpreter of the actions and programs of the
Annual Conference and the general Church (to be better equipped to comply with this
responsibility, it is recommended that a Lay Leader also serve as a Lay Member of Annual

251d) continuing involvement in study and training opportunities to develop a growing
understanding of the Church’s reason for existence and the types of ministry that will most
effectively fulfill the Church’s mission;

251f) informing the laity of training opportunities provided by the Annual Conference. Where
possible, the Lay Leader shall attend training opportunities in order to strengthen his or her
work. The Lay Leader is urged to become a certified Lay Speaker. In instances where more
than one church is on a charge, the Charge Conference shall elect additional Lay Leaders so
that there will be one Lay Leader in each church. Associate Lay Leaders may be elected to
work with the Lay Leader in any local church.

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