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  • Could the "Nones" become Unitarian Universalists? Part 1

    Young Adult ministry has been a challenge for congregations of all liberal protestant denominations for decades but the game is changing in ways we couldn't have imagined back in the post WWII church building boom. There has been a lively conversation on the UU-Leaders email...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/16/2013
  • GenX: The Adaptive Generation

    In my last blog post I wrote about the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. I received a few requests to write about the generational cohort labeled Gen X (rough birth years 1960-1985), sandwiched between the two and much smaller than either. Most of the ministerial settlements...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/16/2013
  • Details, Details!

    Imagine that your congregational leaders are talking to the bank loan officer in anticipation of a major capital campaign project. The loan officer asks who has the authority in your congregation to sign for the loan. "Why, our president!" ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/7/2013
  • Measure in Church Time Dog Years

    Church leaders that I work with are often frustrated with the slow, almost glacial speed of change in congregational life. What might take a month or two in the workplace takes a year in the church. ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/28/2013
  • 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
  • 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
  • The "Snap" of Emotional Triggers

    As we head into the holiday season, it's a good time to bring attention to the practice of self-management. Time together with relatives often elicits old memories and deep emotions. The practice begins by first becoming self-aware when ugly emotions start to swell up and our...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 11/20/2012
  • Making Space for the Quiet Voices

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    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/23/2012
  • All the world's a game....

    All the world's a game....and we are just players... This paraphrase of the line from Shakespeare's As You Like It comes to mind as I am reading Jane McGonigal's book...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/23/2012
  • Leadership "Cairns" for Next Generation

    I spent several days hiking in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for my vacation. (It was a good opportunity to get away from the technology that is my constant companion during the rest of the year, since there are few cell phone towers in those mountains.) Many...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/6/2012
  • To Be “Bona Fide” - Authenticity as a Way Toward Growth

    There has been a lot of press lately about Generation Y—often referred to as the Millennials—since they started to come of age around the year 2000. It’s a generation that doesn’t fit the old stereotype of rebellious youth that began with the Baby Boomers; articulated in the...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/28/2012
  • Tip: Recruiting Volunteers

    One of the most frequent requests we hear from congregational leaders is: "How do we recruit fresh volunteers?" Our religious educators have a lot of experience since they need to recruit a multitude of teachers each year. The religious educator from my home congregation is a...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/25/2012
  • 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
  • Mental Models in a Changing World

    The world around us is changing at an exponential rate, so it is often difficult to respond to the new reality. What is true for individuals is even more true for institutions, including our “living tradition” Unitarian Universalist congregations. I’m not saying this to scold or...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/31/2012
  • For Nominating Committees: Leadership Development 2.0

    What is the future of Unitarian Universalist congregations? Are we slowly declining, as hinted at in the article UUA membership and attendance declined in 2011 in the UU World? Or are we at the cusp of societal changes where we can be A Religion for Our Time ? I believe that...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/21/2012
  • Leadership Sometimes Means Taking a Stand

    Great leaders continually examine their motives. They ask themselves, “On what principle am I taking this stand? Am I acting for the common good? Am I trying to push a personal agenda? Do I just want my way or is there a principle at stake here?” Great leaders will admit to...
    By Connie Goodbread | 1/22/2009

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