Those in attendance at the Laity Session Thursday afternoon were welcomed with a surprise – small, flashlight. From the get-go, the laity knew that this was going to be a unique session. Once seated, the Board of Laity promised they had listened to lay leaders and this session would have a focus on worship.

The promise for a worship-­focused session held true. Starting off the afternoon was the praise team from Delphi United Methodist Church. In total, the team led the crowd in seven songs. With each song, the praise team introduced Scriptures on which the songs were based.

The Africa University U.S. Touring Choir offered four songs. The first two songs performed were both a welcome and a thank you to the Indiana Conference. “Jambo” means “hello,” and according to director Tendekai Kuture, the choir wanted to extend “a big hello from all of us to all of you.” Kuture and the choir also thanked the Indiana Conference for the gift of $1.6 million to help sustain Africa University.

Kim Arnott, Lay Leader at Fishers UMC and winner of this year’s Laity Manuscript Contest, delivered the message. Arnott stressed that when Jesus charged us to go and make disciples, He challenged us to be world changers. In order to be a world changer, we all must “drop in that first pebble and see where the ripples take us.” We need to stand up from our comfortable chairs and comfort zones, and “get up and get going.” Arnott charged the crowd to make the difference, even if it were in only one person’s life.

The litany was done in silence with the use of a slideshow and the mini flashlights. As a sentence came across the screen, lay leaders raised their lights to the sentences that related to them. The final slide charged the attendees to be world changers by impacting one person’s life.