Laity in the Church
The laity also have an important role in the Church, particularly in bringing back the concerns of the world and determining with others how to address them.
The laity participate in life within the Church largely to strengthen and prepare themselves for their mission in the world. They also support the parish by collaborating with the few professional ecclesial ministers.
The laity's role within the Church should be focused on the goal of evangelization. They invite others to experience the parish and need to be attentive to welcoming those seekers who respond to those invitations.
Connection To the World
The laity's role, even within the walls of the Church is primarily defined by the world: working to bridge the gap between the abstract theology and doctrine of the Church and the experience of daily life. They are called to challenge and support the parish to be relevant to the world.
Ecclesial Lay Ministers
Some lay people are called to serve in the Church as their primary ministry and occupation. It is essential that these people use their gifts for the good of the Church, but it is also an exception to the norm of the laity serving primarily in the world.
As sharers in the role of Christ as priest, prophet, and king, the laity have their work cut out for them in the life and activity of the Church. Their activity is so necessary within the Church communities that without it the apostolate of the pastors is often unable to achieve its full effectiveness. In the manner of the men and women who helped Paul in spreading the Gospel (cf. Acts 18:18, 26; Rom. 16:3) the laity with the right apostolic attitude supply what is lacking to their brethren and refresh the spirit of pastors and of the rest of the faithful (cf. 1 Cor. 16:17-18). Strengthened by active participation in the liturgical life of their community, they are eager to do their share of the apostolic works of that community. They bring to the Church people who perhaps are far removed from it, earnestly cooperate in presenting the word of God especially by means of catechetical instruction, and offer their special skills to make the care of souls and the administration of the temporalities of the Church more efficient and effective.
Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 10
Second Vatican Council
We consider lay participation in church life at all levels a gift of the Holy Spirit, given for the common good. Laity can and should exercise responsible participation both individually and in groups, not only at the invitation of church leadership but by their own initiative.
Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium
National Conference of Catholic Bishops