LeaderLab Resource Collection
Leadership Resource Library
  • The End of Strategic Planning

    Smaller congregations in many denominations are struggling to survive. This doesn't mean they are necessarily "doing church" badly. But it does mean they need to do church differently. Intuiting this need, church leaders often begin gearing up for a strategic planning process....
    By Douglas Zelinski, New England Region of the UUA | 3/18/2015
  • …And That’s Where the Magic Happens

    It usually starts with one person with the beginning of an audacious idea. It has enough form so that others can visualize the possibilities. It also has enough open possibilities that others can see where they can bring their creativity and energy to help co-create it. And...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/4/2015
  • Putting on the Membership Apron

    What does it mean to be a member in a congregation? How much can we ask of members? I believe that membership should signify a commitment to the congregation and it's mission as expressed by the Rev. Michael Piazza. ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 2/19/2015
  • Thinking About Our Thinking

    In dealing with adaptive challenges (e.g. changing demographics or attitudes toward religious institutions) congregational leaders can learn some wisdom from the old folktale about the 7 Blind Men and the Elephant . Each of the men could feel a part of the creature, and each...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 1/20/2015
  • If the Buddha Was "In Search..."

    It's the beginning of the year, and Ministerial Search Committees have just received a list of names of ministers who are interested in learning more about their congregation. Savvy Search Committees know that they are looking for a good match, not a perfect candidate, and the...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 1/5/2015
  • Give Yourself the Gift of Professional Development

    What is “professional development?" Why is it essential? How do you choose and fund professional development activities and fit them into your schedule?
    12/18/2014
  • Let Me Sleep on It...

    The congregational meeting was held right after the Sunday service to guarantee a quorum. There were a couple of important issues to discuss, including passing a deficit budget to help fund a part time membership coordinator in service of their desire for growth. Standard...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 11/22/2014
  • Reflections on Right Relationship

    We often hear the question, "Is there a spiritual practice that is particularly Unitarian Universalist?" I believe that there is—living into our covenantal relationships. Being in community can be challenging. But being in a faith community can give us the opportunity to explore...
    By David A Miller | 11/4/2014
  • There's a Hole in the Bucket...

    It happens more often than you think it should. The church seems to be vital, even growing, but the money in the collection plate doesn't keep up with the growth, or there seems to be a shortfall every month. There might be grumbling about how the new folks aren't pulling their...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/14/2014
  • Announcements: A Terrible Death to Die

    I remember my first church family camp, the Ohio Meadville Summer Institute . At the end of the morning worship, one of the planning committee members would go up to the podium and start singing: Announcements, Announcements, An-NOW-ounce-ments! A terrible death to die, a...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 9/5/2014
  • 5 Shades of Ministry

    I've spent most of my summer working with different programs and events that help to grow lay leaders in our faith. I have had the blessing of encountering dozens of earnest, committed and evangelical lay leaders wanting to spread the good news of our liberal faith. Ministry...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/6/2014
  • Art Doesn’t Happen by Committee – Part 2

    I had just finished leading a worship service as a guest preacher. This congregation had been experiencing a gentle decline in membership over the past decade. Several congregants came up to me afterward and exclaimed, "It was wonderful how the music, the readings and the...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 7/7/2014
  • Multi-Site Ministry: Lowering the Walls Between Us

    Satellites, multi-site, yolked ministries and partnerships can explored by all types of congregations - tiny, large, urban, rural, clustered, or isolated. Might multi-site be right for you?
    By Scott Tayler, Tandi Rogers | 6/27/2014
  • Living Your Purpose III: Making Mission & Vision Stick

    How do we design and support congregational systems that help us live into our mission and vision? Using guiding "ministry action statements," goal-setting, and assessment to keep its mission and vision vital and effective.
    By Kathy McGowan, Renee Ruchotzke, UU Congregation of Binghamton, Binghamton, NY | 6/26/2014
  • World Café: An Exercise for Vision Discernment

    A wonderful exercise to elicit emerging ideas and to discover where the energy resides in a large group.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 6/26/2014
  • Living Your Purpose II: Aspirational Values and Vision

    Once a congregation understands its mission, the next step is to discern how it wants to deepen and grow as a congregation. This workshop outlines processes for discerning aspirational values and ways to create and use a vision statement in devising a strategic plan and annual...
    By Patricia Infante, Douglas Taylor, UU Congregation of Binghamton, Binghamton, NY | 6/26/2014
  • Living Your Purpose I: Core Values and Mission

    Purpose-filled people are misson-driven. Workshop participants will explore discerning congregational core values, how to articulate them as mission, and how to make a mission "portable" to provide alignment for all of its ministries, strategies, and resource allocation.
    By Joe Sullivan, UU Congregation of Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 6/26/2014
  • Rude Awakenings: Practicing Civility in Our Congregations

    Is rudeness a quality of Unitarian Universalism? How else to explain the lack of hospitality exhibited by many congregations toward unbidden guests? This workshop will explore the prevalence of rudeness in our society, how it is seeping through the walls of our congregations,...
    By Mark Bernstein | 6/26/2014
  • You are not the boss of me!

    My father-in-law was a no-nonsense businessman who worked a 600 acre farm. Fiercely independent, he liked to play by his own rules. When he bought a new piece of machinery, he would remove all of the pesky shields and other safety devices that slowed him down or got in the way...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 5/23/2014
  • 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

Pages

About the Author

  • 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 UUA Congregational Life Staff...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

Like, Share, Print, or Bookmark

Section Menu