Small congregations need a governance system that is "right sized" for the unique needs and challenges generated by their size.
Much of the decision-making in small congregations happens at the board level.
One of most challenging aspects of being fiduciary stewards in a small congregation is relying on volunteers for bookkeeping, pledge tracking, paying bills, creating budgets and overseeing payroll. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has created a Handbook for Congregation Treasurers & Financial Leaders (PDF) to guide you through best practices.
Understand the difference between researching/discerning/planning and doing. Committees make sure that the ministry that they are in charge of is operating in alignment with the mission of the congregation. Consider creating task forces for people who don't want to attend committee meetings, but do want be empowered to do some of the church's ministry.
Committee members can lead the task forces to make sure there is alignment, but with a sense of permission-giving to allow people to contribute from their gifts and passions.
While You're Growing: Strategies and Resources for SmallReligious Education Programs by Betty Jo Middleton
Small Congregations Growth Resources
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Last updated on Friday, January 2, 2015.
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