Historically, “lay” was used to designate Christians who weren’t clergy, monks or nuns. Unfortunately, overtime it has been used to designate a lesser status, as if “real” ministry can only be done by clergy. We’ve all heard people say, “I’m just a layperson,” and what they’re communicating is, “Don’t’ expect too much from me!”
Let me tell you a story about Jeremy Lanphier. He was a member of the Collegiate Church and was hired as a lay missionary to help the church in its outreach. In 1857 he began a noon prayer meeting. After advertising this new ministry, he had only six people show up. He was not deterred and kept the doors open.
Later that year the stock market crashed, and because of the crisis, attendance picked up—to nearly 10,000! This renewed interest in prayer spread around the country and a revival of faith occurred. It is believed that over the next year nearly one million people came to faith, and it all began with a simple prayer meeting that was started by “just a layperson.”
So you’re not a clergy person, monk, or nun. It doesn’t mean that you can don’t great things in ministry. The truth is that in Christian history most of the great things done have been done by laypersons. There is no such thing as “just a layperson.” Everyone has been given gifts by God that can make a difference in people’s lives. How are you using the gifts God has given you?