Got Purpose! a Congregation's Clarion Call to Leadership Development
by Doug Zelinski|
Director of Leadership Development
"Congregations need structured
ways to talk about their identity, purpose, and future, and they need a path to
develop consensus and a commitment to act."
From Holy Conversations
by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann
Leadership Development is the hottest topic in most
congregations these days. It may not be named explicitly, but it often surfaces
as the solution to waning volunteerism, membership attrition, and the struggle
to recruit leaders for our Boards and Parish Committees. Many people aren't
clear about what "Leadership Development" would look like in their
congregation, yet they believe it to be a panacea for congregational problems.
So let's clear up a few things.
First, I am willing to declare that Leadership Development
is the remedy for a great many congregational problems. The very
presence of good and faithful leaders, lay and clergy, has an enormous
influence on congregational health and resilience.
Second, there need be nothing vague about what is meant by
the words "Leadership Development." As described in the Rendle/Mann quote above,
Leadership Development is the process of identifying and strengthening the
voices of those who can provide congregations with structured ways to talk
about their identity, purpose and future. Leaders can offer a path to
congregational consensus. They can inspire a commitment to action.
Third, and most significantly, our developing leaders need
to ally themselves with the enormous power of a clear and strong Unitarian
Universalist identity. There are particular aspects of our UU legacy that
helped power some of the most profound changes in American culture and we can
make this happen again.
In October, the three-part Learning Congregations series
"Got Purpose? It Does a Congregation Good" begins. This series is the Clara Barton and Massachusetts Bay Districts' clarion call
to create a community of leaders who are confident in their skills, clear about
their purpose, and empowered by their Unitarian Universalist identity. (Click here for more details.)
You can come to one, two or all three parts in the series. The coupon below offers a special price for teams attending all three. [more]