Setting God's People Free
A report by the Lay Leadership Task Group
The Task Group was originally asked to review lay leadership, in
particular beyond the walls of the church. To do so, it became
clear that we needed to broaden our focus to encompass lay
discipleship. This report is not an exhaustive exploration of the
role of the laity or of lay discipleship. Rather, we see the report
as marking the start of a vital journey.
This report will be presented for debate at the meeting
of the General Synod in February 2017
A great opportunity lies before us. It is the same opportunity
that has presented itself to the Church in every decade for the
last 100 years. It is an opportunity that arguably has not been
fully grasped since the days of Wesley.
Will we determine to empower, liberate and disciple the 98% of
the Church of England who are not ordained and therefore set them
free for fruitful, faithful mission and ministry, influence,
leadership and, most importantly, vibrant relationship with Jesus
in all of life? And will we do so not only in church-based ministry
on a Sunday but in work and school, in gym and shop, in field and
factory, Monday to Saturday?
At the outset, to avoid misunderstanding, we emphasise the
following points about this report:
- It calls for a shift in culture - not a narrow, centrally
- It looks beyond and outside Church structures to the whole
people of God at work in communities and wider society - not to
'fixing' the institutional Church.
- It seeks to affirm and enable the complementary roles and
vocations of clergy and of lay people, grounded in our common
baptism - not to blur or undermine these distinctions.
- It proposes steps to nourish, illuminate and connect what is
working already in and through frontline parishes - not to
institute a top down approach.
- It aims to see confident involvement, engagement and leadership
of lay people wherever they are called to serve - not to devise lay
alternatives to clergy.
[Download the report]
Alongside this report, the Lay Ministries Working Group is looking
specifically at lay ecclesial ministry within the Church. The
report should also be read in the context of the Resourcing Ministerial