If your congregation is like most, this is the time of year that you are experiencing the most leadership changes. New board members, committee chairs and even staff often begin their time with a congregation in July or August, just as the new church year is about to begin.
Helping your leaders get off to a good start with their new roles, or even help your returning leaders brush up their skills is one of the best investments a congregation can make. Leaders need a unique set of skills to successfully navigate leadership in a congregation where you are also a member. The Central East Region and the UUA have a number of resources available to those who are looking for resources to learn more.
The Central East Region staff are offering a three part webinar series, Helpful Board Habits on August 17, September 21 and October 19 from 6:30-8 pm ET. Each session will have about a hour of pre-work to do so we can spend our time together in conversation. This series will help your board develop shared practices in communication and leadership and a shared understanding of your board in congregational governance. Registration is open and the cost is $15 per person for the series, but don't delay, the registration deadline is August 13th.
If your board would like to spend time working on leadership skills over the year as a group, we recommend the LeaderLab series on Congregational Board Member Training. This series has 12 different areas of focus to learn more about. Each area contains readings and videos on the topic and we encourage congregational boards to review the materials before meetings and then use a portion of your meeting times to discuss what you have learned. Topics range from governance basics, effective meetings, boundaries, healthy communications, being a good employer, to roles and responsibilities.
For those who want to take their skills deeper, we recommend the UU Institute core leadership series which covers basic skills such as healthy communication, systems thinking, spiritual grounding and an understanding of the dynamics of conflict. Each of these trainings go deeper and deeper to help develop these skills. You can find these on the UU Institute website, and each training costs $30 per person to take. They are on demand, and you can advance at your own pace. Learn more about the UU Institute Core Leadership Courses.
If you just need some help with a particular topic, please remember to check the LeaderLab Library. Here you can search for different topics and find blog posts, articles, videos and more. If you can't find what you are looking for, please reach out to your primary contact for help.
We hope these resources will help your congregation develop strong leaders who are equipped to navigate the times ahead.