business visionWe are heading into the time of year where some nominating committees are scrambling to recruiting potential leaders for governing boards and other elected positions to be offered for election at Spring congregational meetings.

Hopefully, your congregation is transitioning toward having a year-round leadership development committee that is enabling your congregation to identify potential leaders, match them to roles that match their skills and passions and equip them with appropriate training.

If you are not quite “there” yet, here are a few quick tips about how to recruit:

  • Look for people who fit the demographic that you are trying to become.  Young Adults.  People of Color.  People with disabilities.
  • Know the person you are recruiting.  This may sound simple, but it is essential.  Each one of us has gifts.  Our humanist DNA implies an obligation to treasure each person and their potential.  It goes against our ideals (and is downright insulting) to treat a person as an object to fill a slot (or slate, as the case may be).
  • Know yourself.  What first connected you to a leadership role?  When were did you first feel valued by others in the congregation?  When did you feel that you were not really being “seen?”
  • If you don’t know the person you want to recruit, get to know them.  Ask them about their passions.  What do they love about the church?  What would they change?  Where do they see themselves fitting in?  What potential do you see in them?

I am becoming convinced that one-on-one conversations are the core to an effective leadership development program.  I invite you to give it a try.

 

About the Author
Rev. Renee Ruchotzke
Leadership Development Consultant, Central East Regional Group (CERG) of the UUA. I have a vision of Unitarian Universalist congregations being led by thousands of diverse, spiritually mature and passionate people ready and willing to spread the good news of liberal religion.  I believe ministry is best when shared between lay and professional leaders. More information about me can be found on the UUA website.
  • Mark Bernstein

    I absolutely agree that the only truly effective way to recruit someone is face to face. It is a demonstration of respect and affection for the individual and will probably give you the best chance that the person will say “yes”. In my congregation, we are tying service to our spiritual journeys. It is a lovely conversation to have and puts the “ask” in a totally different realm.