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Congregational Staff Teams
Congregational Staff Teams

Ministry Is Meant To Be Shared

The most vital and thriving congregations practice Shared Ministry. This includes an intention to match personal gifts with opportunities to serve, in covenantal relationship, all in service to the mission and vision of the congregation. The health and vitality of the congregation depends on the health and vitality of its minister(s), religious educator(s), music professional(s), administrative professional(s), membership professional(s) and other staff.

This library of resources was compiled by a Shared Ministry Resource Team, comprised of members of LREDA, UUMA, UUMN, with input from the Ministries and Faith Development and Congregational Life offices of the UUA.


 

Staff Team
Self-Assessment

The most vital and thriving congregations practice shared ministry. Strong staff teams add to the health and vitality of our congregations. This self- assessment tool for staff teams was inspired by Susan Beaumont’s 30 Markers of Staff Team Health and Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, as well as our shared commitments to multicultural anti-oppressive congregations. Resources for continued learning and development are included when available. This tool is designed to foster open and respectful conversations among staff team members, enabling effective, engaged, and compassionate staff team relationships. All religious professionals are invited to bring this assessment tool to their staff teams, as a means of personal and shared reflection and learning.

 

Collegial Covenanting

  • Administration as Leadership (PDF) (Renaissance module)
    Ellenwood, Pat, 2013
    Particularly Session 3: Partners in Faith Development, which explores staff covenants and supervision, and Session 2: The Religious Educator in the Congregation, which talks about healthy communication.
  • Blueprint for Excellence: Best Practices for UU Congregations
    LREDA
    This document outlines best practices in the search for RE leadership. Includes covenanting, agreements, professional development, and the search process.
  • Colleague Conversations Workshop
    Metro New York District
    For minister and religious educator teams to establish healthy relationships and create a covenant together.

Collaborative Leadership/Staff Team Leadership

  • 30 Markers of Staff Team Health
    Beaumont, Susan, NACBA, 2011
    This article points to a simple exercise to do with your staff – look at the list together; get a quick collective sense of what you’re doing well and what you should work on. Also lifts up polarity of collaboration and accountability.
  • Susan Beaumont and Associates, LLC
    Susan Beaumont - previously with the Alban Institute - has a consulting firm that advises on topics of relevance to shared ministry, such as creating healthy staff teams, leading when you are not in charge, supervising staff, adaptive leadership and transitions. Monthly webinars, live events, and a blog can be found at her website.
  • Collegiality: Being a Good Colleague
    Central East Region
    Facilitated by Pat Infante. Congregations with multi player staff teams must work intentionally to create strong, collegial partnerships but doing so can introduce tension and anxiety into the congregational system. We’ll talk about covenant, collegiality, creative tension, and conflict – all forces that can be leveraged to build better staff relationships.
  • Administration as Leadership (PDF) (Renaissance module)
    Ellenwood, Pat, 2013
    Particularly Session 3: Partners in Faith Development, which explores staff covenants and supervision, and Session 2: The Religious Educator in the Congregation, which talks about healthy communication.
  • Rivals or a Team? Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century
    Gunter, Eileen, MorningStar Music Publishers, 2012
    Explores the importance of teamwork in the Christian church, identifying ways in which musicians and clergy can exercise their separate roles effectively, and suggesting strategies for building supportive relationships. Includes sections on conflict, reasons musicians leave a church, and approaches for transition when the situation just does not work any longer.
  • The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business
    Lencioni, Patrick, JosseyBass, 2012
    Build a cohesive team, be clear about purpose and values, prioritize.
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
    Lencioni, Patrick, JosseyBass, 2002
    Entertaining book with 5 simple, successive takeaways. Trust is paramount. Healthy conflict is vital.
  • The Tablegroup
    Patrick Lencioni website with lots of info on Five Dysfunctions and The Advantage .
  • Blueprint for Excellence: Best Practices for UU Congregations
    LREDA, 2005
    This document outlines best practices in the search for RE leadership. Includes covenanting, agreements, professional development, and the search process.
  • Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page
    Osborne, Larry, Zondervan, 2010
    Strategies for keeping staff aligned and avoiding pitfalls.
  • Covenants of Leadership Behavior
    Rendle, Gil: Alban Institute, 2012
    How Covenantal Leadership helps congregations and all staff lead a better, fast, and more communal process.
  • Harvest the Power (Tapestry of Faith)
    Tittle, Gail and Matt and ForsythVail, Gail.
    Though written for lay leaders, portions could be adapted for professional leaders. The 12 workshops include discussions of such issues as power and authority, adaptive leadership, and selfcare.
  • Fulfilling the Call: A Model for UU Ministry in the 21st Century
    UUA, UUMA, EDC, UUA, 2013
    Describes expectations of ministers in 9 broad areas of ministry (duties) at four skill levels. Includes staff leadership as part of “Leads Administration.”
  • Mobilizing Congregations: How Teams Can Motivate Members and Get Things Done
    Wimberly Jr., John W, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015
    This is a look at the power teams bring to congregational work. Wimberly demonstrates that younger generations in particular are much happier working in a team, rather than a committee environment. Congregations using teams are able to mobilize members across generations for both short and long term tasks.
  • Teams and Performance
    Wimberly, John, Alban Institute, 2011
    This article lifts up the importance of team performance as opposed to overfocusing on the individual.
  • Gamifying Teamwork
    A new game called Mission: Possible helps teams develop solutions to problems while also learning about teamwork, design thinking and innovation.
  • Star Island RE Week 2015 Collaborative Leadership Audio Program.  Exploring themes related to our changing world, the changing nature of church, the critical role of great collaborative teams in navigating these changes, and religious education as a growth strategy, this program features talks and panel discussions with Carey McDonald, Patricia Infante, Starr Austin, Andrea Lerner, Patricia Hart, Cathy Seggel, and Pat Humphries & Sandy O. of Emma’s Revolution, plus a wrap up conversation with Carey McDonald and Peter Bowden.
  • Radically Shared Ministry Faith Development Office webinar April 2016. The staff leadership team of Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church UU in Charlottesville, VA shares their experiences as a mutually accountable, collaborative team. Presenters: Leia Durland Jones, Christina Rivera, and Rev. Erik Wikstrom.
  • Trainings/Events

    • Visit your local Regional Events Calendar for details

Supervisory Relationships

  • Navigating Rank
    Be The Love
    This slideshare invites all of us to consider the importance of growing our awareness of rank – our own and other's - so that differences of rank do not become barriers to our experience of Beloved Community. It explores four types of rank and the dynamics of rank.
  • Church Administration: Programs, Process, Purpose
    Bacher , Robert N. and Michael L. CooperWhite, Fortress Press, 2007
    Particularly Chapter 9: Ministry Teams: Teeming with Talent
  • Susan Beaumont and Associates, LLC
    Susan Beaumont - previously with the Alban Institute - has a consulting firm that advises on topics of relevance to shared ministry, such as creating healthy staff teams, leading when you are not in charge, supervising staff, adaptive leadership and transitions. Monthly webinars, live events, and a blog can be found at her website.
  • Administration as Leadership (PDF) (Renaissance module)
    Ellenwood, Pat, 2013
    Particularly Session 3: Partners in Faith Development, which explores staff covenants and supervision, and Session 2: The Religious Educator in the Congregation, which talks about healthy communication. 
  • Rivals or a Team? Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century
    Gunter, Eileen, MorningStar Music Publishers, 2012
    Explores the importance of teamwork in the Christian church, identifying ways in which musicians and clergy can exercise their separate roles effectively, and suggesting strategies for building supportive relationships. Includes sections on conflict, reasons musicians leave a church, and approaches for transition when the situation just does not work any longer.
  • Powerful Conversations: How High-Impact Leaders Communicate
    Harkins, Phil, McGrawHill Education, 1999
    How to have conversations that strengthen relationships, promote shared learning, and advance agendas.
  • Living Our Vision: The Congregation as a Responsible Employer
    Rob Molla et al, UUA General Assembly 2010 workshop
    Powerpoint slides. Get off to a good start. All kinds of HR wisdom about recruiting and hiring.
  • Effective Staff Supervision in Religious Organizations
    New England Region
    Handouts and PPT slide presentations from workshop presented on April 2, 2014.
  • When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations
    Rendle, Gil, Beaumont, Susan, Alban Institute, 2007.
    Note: most content is very relevant to any congregation large enough to have a staff. Great resource for all aspects of staffing, hiring, supervising.
  • Guide to 360 Reviews – What is a 360? How Do You Administer 360 Feedback?
    Vanek, Christian, 2013
    Reviews that helps teams look at and evaluate employees from all different perspective of those interacting with them. Meant to provide well-rounded evaluation

Systems Thinking and Adaptive Leadership

  • Susan Beaumont and Associates, LLC
    Susan Beaumont - previously with the Alban Institute - has a consulting firm that advises on topics of relevance to shared ministry, such as creating healthy staff teams, leading when you are not in charge, supervising staff, adaptive leadership and transitions. Monthly webinars, live events, and a blog can be found at her website.
  • Change 201: Intro to Adaptive Leadership
    Central East Region
    Facilitated by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke. Develop leadership skills to learn how to face our toughest challenges: the ones we don't have ready answers for. The "Adaptive Leadership" framework pioneered by Harvard's Dr. Ronald Heifetz is more than a toolbox of tips. It will change the way you think about the internal and external components of leadership and equip you to lead through any change—welcome or unwelcome.
  • Conflict 101: Meeting Resistance
    Central East Region
    Facilitated by Mark Bernstein. The key is how the leader meets and responds to the resistance that is causing the conflict. In this session, we'll talk about getting trust vs. getting agreement, creating a culture that minimizes conflict, and specific steps for resolving situations causing conflict.
  • Conflict 202: Nonviolent Communication
    Central East Region
    Facilitated by The Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner. In this introductory session to Compassionate Communication (Nonviolent Communication) we begin with how to connect to our own needs and judgments so that we can embody more greatly compassion for ourselves and others.
  • Emotional Intelligence: The Non-Anxious Leader
    Central East Region
    Facilitated by Mark Bernstein. This class will provide an introduction to emotional intelligence and the five skills required to be at your best as a leader in your congregation. You'll also have a chance to assess your own level of emotional intelligence.
  • The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World
    Heifetz, Ronald A, Grashow, Alexander, Linsky, Marty, Harvard Business Press, 2009
    Ministry-transforming concepts and practices!
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
    Senge, Peter, Doubleday, 2006 (revised)
    Disciplines of a learning organization; the 5 th , systems thinking, integrates the other four. This is a classic that reads as fresh.
  • Harvest the Power (Tapestry of Faith)
    Tittle, Gail and Matt and ForsythVail, Gail.
    Though written for lay leaders, portions could be adapted for professional leaders. The 12 workshops include discussions of such issues as power and authority, adaptive leadership, and selfcare.
  • Fulfilling the Call: A Model for UU Ministry in the 21st Century
    UUA, UUMA, EDC, UUA, 2013
    Describes expectations of ministers in 9 broad areas of ministry (duties) at four skill levels. Includes staff leadership as part of “Leads Administration.”
  • Mobilizing Congregations: How Teams Can Motivate Members and Get Things Done
    Wimberly Jr., John W, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015
    This is a look at the power teams bring to congregational work. Wimberly demonstrates that younger generations in particular are much happier working in a team, rather than a committee environment. Congregations using teams are able to mobilize members across generations for both short and long term tasks.

Transitions

  • Susan Beaumont and Associates, LLC
    Susan Beaumont - previously with the Alban Institute - has a consulting firm that advises on topics of relevance to shared ministry, such as creating healthy staff teams, leading when you are not in charge, supervising staff, adaptive leadership and transitions. Monthly webinars, live events, and a blog can be found at her website.
  • Rivals or a Team? Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century
    Gunter, Eileen, MorningStar Music Publishers, 2012
    Explores the importance of teamwork in the Christian church, identifying ways in which musicians and clergy can exercise their separate roles effectively, and suggesting strategies for building supportive relationships. Includes sections on conflict, reasons musicians leave a church, and approaches for transition when the situation just does not work any longer.
  • Blueprint for Excellence: Best Practices for UU Congregations
    LREDA
    This document outlines best practices in the search for RE leadership. Includes covenanting, agreements, professional development, and the search process.
  • Start Up Workshops
    • Visit your local Regional Events Calendar for details
  • From Starting to Parting: Supporting RE and Music Staff in UU Congregations
    UUA Professional Development Office
    Resource for hiring and supporting staff, including team/supervision/performance management sections.
  • Interim Ministry Primer for Staff (PDF)
    UUA Professional Development Office
    Jan Gartner and Keith Kron offer guidance for congregational staff working with an interim minister. Includes FAQ, resources, and case studies.

Worship: Colloborative / Multi-Dimensional

  • The Sounds of Our Offerings – Achieving Excellence in Church Music
    Kroeker, Charlotte, Alban Institute, 2011
    These are the stories of churches with a reputation for their fine music programs, churches that, with their leaders and congregations, have worked out these programs in consistent, coherent ways. In most cases, the programs span multiple priests/pastors and musicians. The Sounds of Our Offerings is about excellent music and how it has found its way into the life and faith practices of these congregations.
  • The Worship Workshop: Creative Ways to Design Worship Together
    McFee, Marcia, Abingdon Press, 2010
    A variety of activities, ideas and informational handouts to evaluate the state of your current worship, get more people involved in the planning and designing process, explore the diverse designs of congregational worship, learn the history of worship and use the arts in worship.
  • Worship (PDF) (Renaissance Module)
    Strawser, Kathy
    Especially Session 3: The Crafting of Worship 

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For more information contact conglife@uua.org.