The United Methodist Church has traditionally recognized these gifts and callings in the ordained offices of elder and deacon. The United Methodist tradition has recognized that laypersons as well as ordained persons are gifted and called by God to lead the Church. The servant leadership of these persons is essential to the mission and ministry of congregations. They help to form Christian disciples in covenant community wihtin the local congregation through spiritual formation and guidance for Christian living in the world (Paragraph 132, The Book of Discipline, 2004)
The annual conference is responsible for structuring its ministries and administrative procedures in order to accomplish the purpose of making disciples for Jesus Christ by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church. The Committee on Nominations is charged by the annual conference with making recommendations for leadership on the basis of gifts and callings.