25 March 2005

Online Resources for Lay Leaders

Let's say that you've just stepped into a lay leadership role such as committee member, committee chair, or even board member. You want to learn as much as you can so you will be an effective leader. Where do you go for information for your new role? Luckily, there are plenty of online resources available to help you.
InterConnections Web Site - Starting point for finding the wide variety of congregational lay leader resources. This web page contains four major sections:
"Leadership Quick Start" Web Site - By selecting the appropriate choices on this web page (congregation size, leadership role, and area of responsibility), you can quickly find recommended book titles, web sites, and online UU magazine articles to assist you as a lay leader.

"Events for Leadership" Link - By selecting the appropriate web site for your location (for example, this would be the Southwest District for my congregation), you will be taken to your district's web site. On your district's web site, you will find information on upcoming conferences, training workshops, youth events, young adult events, and more.

InterConnections Online Magazine Web Site - This web page will allow you to browse by subject category or search the current and back issues of the "InterConnections" magazine for lay leaders.

Lay Leadership FAQ - This section of the InterConnections web site provides useful knowledge and resources that covers A to nearly Z in congregational life (Administration to Youth). It's available on the InterConnnections web site.

UUA-Sponsored Email Lists - The UUA hosts over 225 Email Lists on subjects ranging from district leadership discussions, to covenant group ministry, to large congregation leadership tips and discussions for religious professionals. The main list information page provides a complete listing of all available UUA lists.

Here's a very short sampler of email lists that would be useful for the UU lay leader:

UU-Leaders -- Sharing information & support among UU lay leaders

Memb-l -- Discussion of UU membership and growth issues

UU-Money -- Information Sharing among Society Finance Leaders

Covenant_group_ministry -- For congregations who are interested in or engaged in Covenant Group or Small Group Ministry

ChurchMgmtSoftware -- Discussion of Software for Membership, Contributions and Finances.

UU-editors -- A mailing list for UU Newsletter Editors

UU-plannedgiving -- Information and resource sharing about planned giving

The Congregational Handbook - How to Develop and Sustain Your Unitarian Universalist Congregation - This is the online version of The UUA Congregational Handbook resource available in many church offices. The advantage to this online edition is you can find it at 3 AM without waking up the church staff, leaving the house, or even getting dressed.

"Small Group Ministry Network" (An independent affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association) - According to their web site, their purpose is " ... to support small group ministry and related shared ministry models in Unitarian Universalist congregations through the development of new resources, networking and training opportunities. This site contains a growing library of UU small group resources. We hope you find it helpful in designing, launching and nurturing your shared ministry." This web resource will be very useful for UU lay leaders involved in "covenant group" ministry and other forms of small group ministry. The Southwest District Executive, Rev. Bob Hill, is on the advisory board for this group.

UUA Lifespan Faith Development Web Site - According to their web site, they " ... provide lifespan resources for education, worship, advocacy, and social action that nurture UU identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith, and vital communities of justice and love" for UU congregations and other UU groups. Resources for children, youth, and adult religious education are available here.

Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) - YRUU and the UUA Youth Office serve UU youth between the ages of 14 and 20 by providing resources, consultation, training, and advocacy. These YRUU resources online can be adapted for older and younger Unitarian Universalists.

Continental Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network (C*UUYAN) and the UU Young Adult and Campus Ministry (YACM) Office - C*UUYAN and the UU YACM Office serve UU young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 by providing resources, consultation, training, and advocacy. These young adult resources online can be adapted for older and younger Unitarian Universalists.
These lay leadership resources are provided to our congregation through the generous financial contributions that our congregation and other UU congregations make to the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Southwest District of the UUA.

These resources reflect the cooperative - interdependent spirit of Unitarian Universalism and are freely available to all who need them.


Bob Hill said...

Nice blog, Steve. Lots and lots of helpful resources.
-- Bob Hill

Anonymous said...

I'm grateful that you've lifted-up this resource for lay leaders. Many, many lay and professional leaders teamed up to create this useful resource for people on the "front line" of congregational and district leadership.

Rev. Harlan Limpert
Director for District Services
Unitarian Universalist Association