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  • Assessment Tools for Lay Ministry

    Congregations become "smarter" as systems as they develop feedback loops that enable the system to learn from its past successes and challenges. Here is a tool that you can use to improve your ministry as well as the experience of your volunteers.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/20/2018
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  • Inform and Equip Your Leaders

    Our living tradition calls us to be lifelong learners, and this is especially true for our leaders. There are many skills and sensibilities that today's leaders need to help our congregations be ready for the 21st century. The UUA has many training resources to assist you!
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/20/2018
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  • Inviting Potential Leaders to Discern Their Gifts

    Anxiety about lack of volunteers and leaders can often lead to treating them as human capital, objects to be managed. Ironically, this anxiety-fueled approach tend to produce disappointing results. Instead, creating a program based on an I-Thou relationship of mutuality,...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/20/2018
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  • Identifying Potential Leaders for Your Congregation

    Your Leadership Development Team should have several practices and strategies that enable them to identify potential leaders, especially from groups that may be at the margins (young adults, people of color). Places to Look For Potential Leaders Attend newcomer classes Talk to...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/20/2018
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  • Train Your Leadership Development Team

    Learn the kinds of leadership best practices that you want to instill in the rest of the congregation. Learn about the difference between Leadership and Management (we need both), how Leadership Development is an important part of Faith Formation, and how thinking in terms of...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/20/2018
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  • Introduction to Leadership Development Teams

    Healthy, wise leadership is essential to the growth and vitality of our congregations, yet leadership development can easily become an afterthought. Here is a brief overview of where we come from and where we are going. Nominating Committees After being elected at an annual...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/20/2018
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  • Recruiting Volunteers - 4 Point Message

    Every one-to-one recruitment invitation should include these four major components. You are bound to succeed! Connect the Volunteer Role to the Ministry Goals or Vision Explain how the particular position relates to the MISSION or purpose of the congregation. Expand on why this...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/6/2018
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  • Leadership Development Example: Growth Through Service

    Service is a cornerstone of Unitarian Universalist identity, and of UUCDC membership. Through service, not only do we play our part in healing our broken world, but we also find the opportunity to grow our own faith and spirituality, and to enhance our relationships with others...
    By UU Church of Delaware County, Media, PA, Central East Region of the UUA | 4/5/2018
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  • Growth Cycles of Congregations Explained

    Is you congregation growing, static or in decline? This video, based on the book Taking Your Church to the Next Level: What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Gary L. McIntosh
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA | 2/4/2018
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  • Develop Leadership Development Teams, Not Just "Nominating Committees"

    Sustainable leadership development cannot be reactive to these kinds of crises. Leadership Development should be an ongoing process in your congregation that includes the following practices: Identify, Invite, Inform, Involve and Inquire.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 1/16/2018
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  • From Visitor to Engaged Member

    Faith traditions are all in a time of transition and the UU faith is no exception. As we struggle to consider what our faith will look like in the world of congregations and beyond, let us come together to consider some new perspectives on the traditional ideas of membership. In...
    By Marie Luna, Tandi Rogers | 9/1/2017
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  • Committee, Team or Task Force?

    As we re-imagine how to do the work of a congregation, we need to take into account that younger folks (and by "younger" I mean people under 50) are wary of making commitments without fully understanding the implications. These people want to feel like they are making a...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/6/2015
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  • Want to Develop Church Leaders? Stop Training Them!

    Let me share a fable of two congregations. ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/12/2015
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  • Art Doesn't Happen by Committee - Part 1

    Once upon a time there was a congregation that wanted a mission statement. They appointed a committee that worked hard. They held cottage meetings, World Café conversations, and got a real sense of the identity of the congregation, who they were as a "whole"—or their "center."...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/7/2014
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  • The Gift of Being Called

    It was mid-afternoon and my sixth grade classmates and I were in the middle of a lesson. Suddenly, the deep voice of the principal boomed over the loudspeaker. “Mr. Doyle, I need your help. Mrs. Jones will be out the rest of the day and I need someone to be in the office to...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 12/3/2013
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  • Volunteer Roles: Your Trash, Another's Treasure

    How do we find volunteers for the different jobs in our congregation? How do we fire a volunteer who doesn't perform? How do we renew a committee stuck in stale ideas and that repels any new committee members and their potential energy? Volunteer recruitment and dealing with...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/23/2013
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  • Lead other Leaders with Honey, Not Vinegar

    If I could give one piece of advice for congregational leaders who wish to grow others into leadership, I would say, "Have one-on-one, personal conversations. Ask about their passions. Ask how they are doing. Focus on the positives while encouraging them to stretch and grow." A...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/30/2013
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  • To Be "Seen" - Recruiting Leaders

    We are heading into the time of year where some nominating committees are scrambling to recruiting potential leaders for governing boards and other elected positions to be offered for election at Spring congregational meetings. Hopefully, your congregation is transitioning...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 4/24/2013
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  • Making Space for the Quiet Voices

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    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/23/2012
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  • Financial Barriers to Leadership

    "Volunteering to host coffee hour is a great way for newer folks to get involved." "We used to have potluck dinners, but we have so many dinners offered in our service auction that we don't seem to have the interest to plan potlucks anymore." "Attending Leadership School helped...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/16/2012
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  • Shadows and Light

    One of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs (YouTube) begins: Every picture has its shadows And it has some source of light Blindness, blindness and sight… When I talk about leadership qualities, I find that many of the qualities can be either strengths or weaknesses—or somewhere on...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/21/2012
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