Called to lay ministry

A diocese where lay ministries are encouraged, recognised and celebrated

As part of our aim to be a more Christ-like church for the sake of God’s world, we want to see people to flourish in these roles; the whole people of God, enabling the ministry of the whole church as it serves God’s mission in God’s world.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12.4-7

Variety is vital

Let’s think about lay ministries as a garden - a multitude of plants of different varieties. Varying conditions enable a range of plants to flourish - and indeed need different plants to make the best of the conditions they have. There are some plants which crop up in all the areas, and some might be unique to a very particular type of soil, but the overall variety is vital.

God has called each one of us and equipped us with gifts. Lay ministry describes those roles which the Church understands as being public and representative, though not necessarily within the place and space of the gathered church. They also focus on enabling others in their discipleship and mission. Lay ministers are those who have been called to particular ministries and commissioned for specific responsibilities.

Types of lay ministry

Lay ministries can broadly be divided into three categories: locally recognised, authorised and licensed. The range of lay ministries is constantly developing in response to God’s gift and call, and includes, among others, Licensed Lay Ministers, churchwardens, youth, children’s and family workers, leaders of new congregations, authorised preachers, lay funeral assistants, pastoral care visitors and administrators. Each lay ministry involves discernment, equipping, learning and continued support.

Getting started

The first step is to speak to your vicar or chaplain and keep praying as you try and discern what God may be calling you to.

You might also want to ask your vicar about a Personal Discipleship Plan and in time they may refer you to a deanery vocations adviser to support you as you seek to hear God’s call.


Called to Licensed Lay Ministry?
People called to lay ministry share their inspiring stories.