5.80: The Future is Lay-Led: How Lay Ministry Training is Transforming Churches

In this episode of the Pivot podcast, Rev. Clara King discusses how small, rural churches can empower laypeople, with the church's "edges" driving innovation and collaborative ministry.

In this episode of the Pivot podcast, the Rev. Clara King, an Anglican priest and researcher who has worked extensively with small, rural churches in the Anglican Church of Canada, shares her wisdom and hope for a church that equips and empowers laypeople to step into their God-given callings. Starting with her experience working with congregations on the margins, Clara makes the case that the “edges” of the church are actually the center of innovation and renewal, modeling the shifts that all churches will need to make in the coming years.

Through vivid stories of ordinary laypeople becoming extraordinary leaders, Clara paints a picture of what vibrant, collaborative ministry can look like when clergy and congregations work together to “own their stuff” and embrace a more Spirit-led, adaptive way of being church. Whether you’re a clergy leader looking for fresh ways to empower your congregation or a layperson discerning your own call to ministry, this conversation will stretch your imagination and ground you in the hope that God is already at work, inviting us to join in something new.

Show Notes:


Rev. Clara King Headshot

Rev. Clara King

The Rev. Clara King empowers and equips good, faithful leaders wherever they’re found in the Church.  An Anglican Priest from Calgary, Canada, Clara has been researching, discerning and fostering congregational health since 2005, using tools such as Adaptive Leadership.  

Clara is a PhD Candidate in Practical Theology at Fuller Seminary, studying how to teach Adaptive Leadership.  She is a Research Affiliate at Vancouver School of Theology, and since 2021, her work has been funded in part by Trinity Church Wall Street.

In 2024 and 2025, as part of her doctoral research study, she will be testing a new approach to teaching adaptive leadership to Anglican, United and Presbyterian clergy at ten sites across Canada.

Clara has ten years of ordained ministry experience, both in parish and diocesan ministry, working with urban, multi-ethnic churches as well as struggling rural congregations. 

With her husband Michael, she has two adult step-daughters, two characterful horses, and a delightful Border Terrier named Jonah.

Meet Your Hosts

  • Alicia Granholm

    Alicia Granholm is senior director of Faith+Lead and a leadership and church consultant based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She helps pastors and leaders engage culture to make a lasting impact. For nearly two decades, she has trained, equipped, and empowered followers of Jesus to engage their local communities by contextualizing the Gospel and its application. Alicia compassionately crosses cultural boundaries having lived, studied, traveled, and served in 25 countries on six continents. Alicia has a Doctor of Strategic Leadership, Global Consulting (Regent University), MDiv (Bethel Seminary), and MA in Teaching (University of St. Thomas).

  • Dwight Zscheile

    Dwight Zscheile is vice president of innovation and professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary. His latest book is Leading Faithful Innovation: Following God into a Hopeful Future (with Michael Binder and Tessa Pinkstaff, Fortress Press, 2023).