Board of Lay Ministry needs you: nominees being accepted

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Board of Lay Ministry needs you: nominees being accepted

Feb. 28, 2008    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0804}

NOTE: A headshot of Graves is available at

An e-Review Commentary
By Russ Graves**

Our conference has changed significantly over the past four years, in particular as laity leaders have worked to transform the culture of the laity and, indeed, the church. 

Now, it’s time to recommend nominees for all of the elected positions in the Florida Conference Board of Lay Ministry — individuals who will continue that transformation.

Those positions, held for the next two years, include: conference lay leader; treasurer; young adult; older adult; two representatives, conference ministry team; and three lay member representatives, annual conference — one youth, one woman and one man.

Gertrude Stewart, from the South East District, is being nominated as secretary for a second term.

In the Florida Conference we have begun to experience a reawakening to God’s call to be ministers in the missional sense. As laity we affirm that transformation of our churches is, and must be, first grounded in transformation of people in leadership across our churches.

The concept of doing “business as usual” with local church laity placing their primary focus on administrative-, financial- and property-type duties, while appointed clergy are expected to solely shoulder the work of reaching the lost and the least, simply no longer works. We now see that doing as we have ignores Christ’s call and, even worse, is outright disobedience to Christ in the era in which we now live. 
If we United Methodists are indeed a priesthood of all believers, all equally called to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world, we fall short if we place our primary devotion on institutional maintenance. The hearts of our leaders must reflect what we know to be the heart of God for God’s people. 

On a practical level, as leaders we are to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions, rather than give the right answers, fully relying on God’s guidance. 
The Florida Conference Board of Lay Ministry is made up of the lay leaders of each district and the representatives currently serving in the positions listed above. The Board of Lay Ministry will receive nominations from Florida Conference United Methodists for all open positions. Those nominations will be given to the board’s leadership committee, which will then consider the best-qualified individuals and make a recommendation to the board. The board will recommend that slate of officers to members at the 2008 Florida Annual Conference Event for their vote.

All Florida Conference United Methodists are urged to look to see where God is working — to see who is being obedient and serving in those areas, whose heart and fruit of the spirit are being blessed. They may be the person or people the Board of Lay Ministry is seeking.

Nominations must be sent before March 19 to Russ Graves at Individuals interested in nominating someone may want to contact their district lay leader with a recommendation.


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Graves is leadership committee chairman for the Florida Conference Board of Lay Ministry.

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