Lee Smith

Church Name: Grace (Lee's Summit)

Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.

I was born and raised in the Missouri West Conference of the United Methodist Church. My parents were strong United Methodists. I was baptized and confirmed at Lebanon United Methodist Church. I attended UMYF as a teen and felt led to offer leadership to the district and conference. Eventually, I was encouraged by our CCYM leaders to seek election as President of CCYM. I was honored in 2003 to give a speech on behalf of the youth to the merger conference of the future Missouri Conference. 

I’m a graduate of CMU in Fayette, where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Accounting. I was also a scholarship athlete in cross country and Track. In college, I had occasion to serve a campus counselor, camp director and summer intern at Camp Galilee. I met my wife at Camp Galilee. We now have three amazing kids and love being at Grace United Methodist Church.

Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.

I am 34 years old, married with three kids. I worship weekly at Grace UMC in Lee’s Summit and a have a deep passion for reaching new people for Jesus Christ. My prayer life informs everything that I do, work, home and church.

Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?

If elected, I would be willing to serve as a General or Jurisdictional delegate. 

I appreciate the leadership provided by those who came before me and I feel I can contribute to the future health and vitality of the United Methodist Church. We have an amazing Bishop with a track record of growing churches.

How will your involvement in General Conference 2020 support the church to fulfill the mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”?

My wife and I were part of a team that helped bring our El Dorado Springs and Oak Grove Campuses to life. I serve on the tech team and she serves at Student Ministry Director. We are both in contact with our multi-sites using technology to help worship and discipleship to be fruitful on all three campuses. Churches working in collaboration together, not in competition, is key to the making disciples for Jesus Christ. Knowing that we are in a global denomination means that technology and communication must be central to working together. There will probably be a day that UM churches multi-site all over the world to resource and transform their local communities in the name of Jesus. I pray that despite our differences and struggles that we can keep the main thing the main thing. Voices from all generations should be present at the table. We must refocus our efforts away from partisan division and choose to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Since the primary focus for Jurisdictional Conference is to elect new bishops, what qualifications do you think the church needs in its future episcopal leaders?

A new bishop needs to have a track record of effectiveness in the local church. To lead the United Methodist Church out of our American decline will take spiritually grounded and faithful Bishops who will hold us accountable to make disciples of Jesus Christ. A bishop must hold us accountable to our Book of Discipline as well.