Committees on ministry child feb mar 12 sync version

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Committees on Ministry can be a valuable part of a UU congregation--if done right!

Committees on Ministry can be a valuable part of a UU congregation--if done right!

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  • Robert T. Latham, Moving On from Church Folly Lane: The Pastoral to Program Shift, Addendum VI, "The Committee on Ministry (an Original and Workable Model)," pp. 244-72 (Tucson: Wheatmark, 2006.)  The book can be ordered from Robert's web site at at sale price of $12.00 plus $3.50 shipping cost. It is not available through 


  • 1. A DOZEN GOOD IDEAS ABOUTCOMMITTEES ON MINISTRYRev. Barbara Child, Accredited Interim MinisterAnd host Lisa Presley, District Executive, HeartlandDistrict,MidAmerica Region
  • 2. BROUGHT TO YOU BYMIDAMERICA REGIONCentral MidWest, Heartland and Prairie StarDistricts
  • 4. IDEA 1: AGENT OF THE ENTIRECONGREGATION Allows professional clergy, lay leaders and congregation at large to work toward fulfillment of mission and covenant Bylaws should support COM made up of well respected persons Regular rotation and term limits Should not have adversarial approach!
  • 5. IDEA 2: IDEAL MEMBERS Members of COM are:  Active members familiar with congregation’s history and culture  Generally respected by lay and clergy  Do not bring personal agenda  Able to focus on big picture of mission, covenant and ministry  Skilled at communication  Commitment to well-being of whole
  • 6. IDEA 3: COM IN THECONGREGATIONAL SYSTEM Should be no overlap between Board and COM Engages more congregants in significant leadership roles Leadership training ground Recipient of trained leaders
  • 7. IDEA 4: COMMUNICATION Good COM communicates constantly Through every means Regarding the state of the mission and covenant Keeps people from going to sleep, becoming complacent, or forgetting the church’s mission
  • 8. IDEA 5: EDUCATE ABOUT COM History of Ministerial Relations Committees (MRCs) and COMs Shift from support group to congregational check-up “Our COM,” not “Minister’s COM” Which is yours?
  • 9. IDEA 6: EVALUATION Evaluation of ministry:  Everything done by professional clergy, other paid staff, and congregants involved in the ministry  Not just about the professional clergy Agent to monitor everyone’s accountability over time
  • 10. IDEA 7: TRUE FOCUS COM helps congregation focus on true reason for evaluation:  How are we doing on our mission achievement?  Are we living within our covenants with each other? Helpcongregation know the mission and covenant
  • 11. IDEA 8: POLICY AND MONITORING Cleardistinction between work of Board (policy-makers) and COM (congregation monitors) Board’s authority to make decisions COM’s authority is power of persuasion COM invites people to mission- and covenant-focused perspective
  • 12. IDEA 9: CONSULTANTS COM consults regularly with professional clergy and other staff, Board, task forces, teams, committees involved in ministry Will share impressions on how ministry going May make recommendations Others decide what to do
  • 13. IDEA 10:CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Engages in on-going conflict management Sponsoring workshops on understanding systems and healthy practices Not arbiter or judge but encourages responsible resolution Never takes sides
  • 14. IDEA 11:MODELS SHARED MINISTRY Model and teach value of shared ministry Educate about ministry in general, and congregation’s ministry in particular Help people understand short- and long-term goals for congregation
  • 15. IDEA 12:TRUST AND ACCOUNTABILITY Model and teach mutual trust and accountability Working with Board and professional clergy Fostering right relationship in accord with congregation’s covenant
  • 16. AND ONE CAVEAT: Safeguard against COM being MRC Should not be “palace guard” or complaint bureau Larger congregation may not need a COM to be healthy May not be for everyone but . . . Well conceived and managed can serve healthy shared ministry of professional clergy and congregants
  • 17. MAJOR RESOURCES Robert T. Latham, Moving On from Church Folly Lane: The Pastoral to Program Shift (Tuscon: Wheatmark, 2006)  Addendum VI: The Committee on Ministry (an Original and Workable Model), p 244-72  Can be ordered through or the UUA Bookstore Dan Hotchkiss, Governance and Ministry (Alban Institute)  Can be ordered through the UUA Bookstore
  • 19. THANK YOU! This Webinar, and others, can be found at: