The Wesleyan Movement was what transformational discipleship is all about! Clergy and laity took servanthood seriously. Servanthood to them meant living out their call as disciples of Jesus Christ as demonstrated through their unity in Christ, their unity in mission/purpose, and their unity in ministry. Rather than seeking power for themselves, these servants of Jesus Christ faithfully lifted high the cross in everything they did!
Creating unity is both a prayerful and an active endeavor. It is an active process that is founded in Scripture and lived out relationally through an attitude of servanthood. In The United Methodist Church, laity take seriously their call to servanthood 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 Men, United Methodist Women, and many others.
On Laity Sunday, we celebrate the ministry of the laity, knowing full well that without the servant leadership of the laity from the very beginning, we would not be The United Methodist Church in the present. It is through unity in ministry, clergy and laity serving in partnership, that The United Methodist Church will continue to lift high the cross, reaching out in ministry to the whole world.
Jodi Cataldo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Director of Laity in Leadership, Leadership Ministries,Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.