Lay Leadership (formerly Board of Laity) exists so that the laity of the South Carolina Annual Conference are equipped, empowered and inspired to enthusiastically make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Lay Leadership strives to foster awareness of the role of laity and develop programs for leadership development that will strengthen the local church, provide organization, direction and support for the growth of church leaders. District Lay Leaders are a key component of this development and remain the link between the local church lay leader and the conference.
Lay Leadership supports four (4) key areas of ministry: lay leadership development, lay servant/lay speaking ministry, spiritual formation and stewardship.
The function and make-up of the Lay Leadership area follows the Book of Discipline.
¶ 631. Conference Board of Laity—1. There shall be in every annual conference a conference board of laity or other equivalent structure to provide for these functions and maintain connectional relationship. It shall provide for the ministry of the laity related to the objectives of the General Board of Discipleship as set forth in ¶¶ 1101-1127.
2. The purpose of the conference board of laity shall be: a) To foster an awareness of the role of the laity both within the local congregation and through their ministries in the home, workplace, community, and world in achieving the mission of the Church; to develop and promote programs to cultivate an adequate understanding of the theological and biblical basis for lay life and work among the members of the churches of the annual conference. b) To develop and promote stewardship of time, talent, and possessions within the annual conference in cooperation with the conference council on ministries or other appropriate conference bodies c) To provide for the training of lay members of annual conference d) To provide support and direction for the ministry of the laity on the local, district, and annual conference levels and to promote the observance of Laity Sunday e) To provide organization, direction, and support for the development of local church leaders.
3. The following membership of the board is recommended: the conference lay leader, associate conference lay leaders, the conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries, the conference scouting coordinator, and the presidents and two representatives elected by each of the conference organizations of United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Young Adults, and the conference council on youth ministries; and in addition, the district lay leaders, two laymen, two laywomen, and two youth elected by the annual conference upon nomination of the conference nominating committee, a district superintendent designated by the cabinet, the director of the conference council on ministries, and the presiding bishop. Special attention shall be given to the inclusion of people with disabilities and racial and ethnic persons. All members shall be professing members of local churches.
4. The conference lay leader shall chair the board. Other officers shall be elected as the board shall deem necessary.
5. The board shall relate to Lay Speaking Ministries and other organized lay groups in the conference, such as United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Young Adults, and United Methodist Youth and shall support their work and help them coordinate the activities of the organized laity of the conference.