¶ 630. Conference Board of Laity-1. There shall be in every annual conference a conference board of laity or other equivalent structure to provide for these functions and maintain connectional relationship.77 It shall provide for the ministry of the laity related
to the objectives of the General Board of Discipleship as set forth in ¶¶ 1101-1127.
2. The purpose of the conference board of laity shall be:
a) To foster an awareness of the role of the laity both within the local congregation and through their ministries in the home, workplace, community, and world in achieving the mission of the Church; to develop and promote programs to cultivate an adequate understanding of the theological and biblical basis for lay life and work among the members of the churches of the annual conference.
b) To develop and promote stewardship of time, talent, and possessions within the annual conference in cooperation with the conference council on ministries or other appropriate conference bodies.
c) To provide for the training of lay members of annual conference.
d) To provide support and direction for the ministry of the laity on the local, district, and annual conference levels and to promote the observance of Laity Sunday.
e) To provide organization, direction, and support for the development of local church leaders.
3. The following membership of the board is recommended: the conference lay leader, associate conference lay leaders, the conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries, the conference scouting coordinator, and the presidents and two representatives elected by each of the conference organizations of United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Young Adults, and the conference council on youth ministries; and in addition, the district lay leaders, two laymen, two laywomen, and two youth elected by the annual conference upon nomination of the conference nominating committee, a district superintendent designated by the cabinet, the director of the conference council on ministries, and the presiding bishop. Special attention shall be given to the inclusion of people with disabilities and racial and ethnic persons. All members shall be professing members of local churches.
4. The conference lay leader shall chair the board. Other officers shall be elected as the board shall deem necessary.
5. The board shall relate to Lay Speaking Ministries and other organized lay groups in the conference, such as United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Young Adults, and United Methodist Youth and shall support their work and help them coordinate the activities of the organized laity of the conference.
6. Conference Committee on Lay Speaking Ministries-a) Every annual conference is encouraged to create a conference committee on Lay Speaking Ministries or other equivalent structure to fulfill the requirements of ¶¶ 267-269, 272 and to relate to the conference board of laity and the General Board of Discipleship as per ¶ 1117 and others that might apply.
b) The purpose of a conference committee on Lay Speaking Ministries is to set criteria and guidelines for district committees on Lay Speaking Ministries, to develop lay speaking courses and approve courses developed by district committees, and to organize conference-wide lay speaking events.
c) A conference committee on Lay Speaking Ministries will consist, at a minimum, of the district directors of Lay Speaking Ministries or their equivalent.
d) There will be a conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries. This position will be filled in a manner to be determined by the annual conference. The conference director will chair the committee. Other officers will be elected by the committee as the committee deems necessary.
7. Responsibilities in the area of Ministry of the Laity-a) To develop and promote programs to cultivate an adequate understanding of the theological and biblical basis for ministry of the laity among the members of the churches of the annual conference; to give special emphasis to programs and services that will enable laity of all ages to serve more effectively as leaders in both church and community.
b) To provide support and direction for such lay programs as Lay Speaking Ministries, the observance of Laity Day, and the work of lay leaders on the local and district levels.
c) To give support and direction to the conference and district program for local church leadership development, coordinating and developing training experiences that will enable persons of all ages to serve more effectively as members of local church councils on ministries, church councils, and the committees, commissions, and task forces related to these groups.
d) To organize a conference committee on Lay Speaking Ministries that will fulfill the requirements of ¶¶ 267-269 on behalf of the conference. This committee shall set guidelines and criteria to be used by district committees (see ¶ 666).
77. See Judicial Council Decision 835.