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14th Conference Table

The Culture of Laity

The 14th Conference Table will be video webcast live, click here.

The upcoming 14th Conference Table is designed to engender lively conversation about the roles and expectations of the laity in personal discipleship and congregational life.

In contrast to the traditional view of the clergy-laity relationship in which clergy are defined as those who do ministry and laity as those to whom ministry is directed, David Lowes Watson, one of the guest speakers at the next session of the Florida Annual Conference, lays out a compelling argument that the clergy should be about the business of preaching and teaching the laity, and the laity should be about the work of pastoral ministry in church, community and the world.

Watson grounds his argument in sound Wesleyan historical and theological research, in addition to the reality that in light of the 21st century world in which we live, it is the laity who come in daily contact with persons who are not Christian, and therefore, have the opportunity to be witnesses to the love of Jesus Christ in ways pastors cannot. 

Some of the questions that will be addressed are:

  • What expectations should appointed and resident leaders of congregations have of each other?
  • How do we move to new ways of identifying persons for leadership in the life of the church?
  • What do we mean by "church work" in this new apostolic age?
  • What causes people to care about ministry in the first place?
  • How and where is lay mobilization working?

The session will be held April 1, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, Sebring.

Conference tabel registration is now closed. You can register at the door but lunch can no longer be reserved. .

The gathering will also be web cast live for those who are not able to attend. To enter the webcast on the day of the event visit the conference web site and click on the web cast button..