The phrase “In Laymen’s Terms” is synonymous with the simple, clean cut version of something – but where did it come from? The word layman means “secular man” and dates back to the 15 century. A layman is a someone who does not work for the church but leads alongside the ordained clergy. Many, along with 99% of the body of Christ, are lay-leaders. Lay-leaders themselves coined the phrase “Laymen’s Terms”.
Layman’s Terms means to present something in a way that an untrained, nonprofessional can understand. It captures the same meaning but simplified. Laymen took the things of God and placed them within reach of every man. They helped make God, not plain, but accessible. For hundreds of years the role of the lay-leader in the church has been simple: Put things… In layman’s terms. So, what is the role of the lay-leader today? What significance do they play in the modern church? Let’s talk about it.
The 3 Roles of the Lay-Leader
1. Grow in Christian disciplines while seeking to grow the spiritual gifts of the church.
A lay-leader – or as we called them, leader’s – primary role is two-fold:
1. Grow in their walk with God
2. Bring others with them.
Missionaries coming to new territories had no formal or quick way to ask questions of the clergy and by default had to lead the people, the best they knew how. They would appoint lay-leader’s over lay-leader’s. This leadership structure, by necessity, helped form the foundation of the early American church.
Today, lay-leader’s hold the same two-fold responsibilities.
They press into God, grow themselves with a variety of resources (this blog for example) and seek to grow those around them, the best they know how.
The old saying; “we can’t lead where we won’t go” still stands true. Lay-leader’s have to be further down the road and have a true connection to the King if they are going to grow themselves or those around them.
Questions For You:
What are you doing to grow as a Disciple of Christ? What area are you stronger at than you were yesterday? Who are you investing into? What are you doing to grow the gifts of those around you?
2. Be a living example of one who “Loves God & Loves Their Neighbor.”
Lay-leader’s must embodied what Jesus called the Greatest Commandment. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind & love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus said, “They would know you are my Disciples by your love for one-another.”
If a church is serving its community well, then it’s known as a place of acceptance and love. The same must be said for its leaders.
Lay-leader's must live a life of Loving God & Loving Others. Click To Tweet Without both factors operating in our lives we have nothing, are nothing and will fail to make a difference in the kingdom.
Questions For You
How are you an example of someone who loves God? What do you do to love God? How does God love you? How are you an example of someone who loves their neighbor? How do you cross the cultural and racial divides to love those not like you?
3. Keep a broad view of the church and help maintain its mission.
One of the most important roles for the lay-leader is to keep a higher perspective of the church and help to maintain the God-mission. The more a church grows the harder it is to stay true to its original calling. More people means more expectations and more individual visions. The lay-leaders most significant influence comes when they spend time with the leadership, catch the vision and are able to “put into laymen’s terms” the heartbeat and direction of the church to the congregation. When someone asks why the church does or doesn’t do this-or-that, the lay-leader can speak from a place of vision.
Questions For You
How do you make sure you have a broad view of the church as a whole? How do you stayed connected to the central vision of the church? Do you seek to connect those you lead to the God mission?