Holly Neal, Conference Lay Leader
One of the plans for the 2017/2018 Conference year for the laity is to bring the Generative Leadership Academy for Laity and Clergy to the TN Conference. The Generative Leadership Academy was developed by our friends in the Memphis Conference to help deeply committed Christian leaders who are eager to serve, find direction and guidance for the changing world in which we live. These leaders will train and inspire additional leaders who will work together for church vitality. Church vitality will transform the world!
George Brown, Associate Conference Lay Leader
The board of laity is now making plans to host a series of district-wide training events for local church lay leaders and others interested in helping bring their church into being an evangelistic church. We heard Jim Allen’s report yesterday about declining church membership and attendance. We believe that involved laity working shoulder-to-shoulder with their pastor can reverse this trend. We have intentionally waited until after this Annual Conference to implement these initiatives, so we can work with new district superintendents and new lay leadership in the redefined districts. Sometime this fall we will be working out the details of these initiatives. We would like your input as to what is needed. So as you think of things you would like to learn about, please share them with your district lay leadership or district superintendent. We will be back in touch in the Fall as we work out the times, places, and educational subjects.
Jackie Elliott, Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries
At the present time, there are over 700 actively trained lay people in the Tennessee Conference. Some of these Lay Servants are serving as mission team leaders and participants (locally, nationally and internationally). Many are volunteering in soup kitchens, food ministries, home repair, homeless shelters, and prison ministry. They are also teaching Sunday School, special classes on healthy living and finances, as well as leading Bible Studies.
Lay people in our Conference are also making a difference by caring for others as Stephen Ministers, Hospice volunteers, in schools with Partners Today, Fuel Programs and with Project Transformation. The laity is communicating their faith by serving on teams, committees and boards, and as worship leaders and liturgists. Some are called to children and youth ministries in their local church or in their own neighborhoods. Our districts, our conference and the world all benefit because our lay people are being sent to serve God and neighbor making Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Bishop McAlilly, at this time and the Members of the TN Annual Conference, I present to you the Lay Servants in the Tennessee Conference:
Will the Lay Servants please stand (Basic class only)
Will the Certified Lay Servants please stand
Will the Certified Lay Speakers please stand
Will the Certified Lay Ministers please stand
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Conference Director.