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Ministerial Relations Committees

a group praying at the Entrepreneurial Ministry conference

Many congregations have a committee to assist and work with the professional minister or ministers.

An older model is the Ministerial Relations Committee, which tends to be an advocate for, and a support and guidance group to, the minister or ministers. The focus of these groups generally is limited to professional ministers, rather than to the overall state of the congregation's ministry. In unhealthy congregations, this model can lead to triangulation.

A newer model is the Committee on Ministry (CoM), which focuses on all aspects of the congregation's ministry, including professional leadership, music, social justice, religious education, pastoral care, and so on. This model helps the congregation make sure that its ministries are serving its mission and vision using a whole-church assessment model. 

In practice, congregations have used the names interchangeably, so some congregations have creatively tweaked the name (e.g. Committee on Shared Ministries) to distinguish the difference.


An excellent description of the Committee on Ministry Model is described in Robert Latham's book Moving on from Church Folly Lane: The Pastoral to Program Shift.

You can also see an outline of Latham's Committee on Ministry model(PDF, 22 pages).

About the Author

UUA Congregational Life Staff Group

The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.