I have identified 9 core ministry areas for our church. What does that mean?
We asked the question– if we were going to replicate & scale the programs we use at one location, which ones would we absolutely HAVE to include at the other locations? What is necessary and what is extra?
For example, an adult discussion group is a fine thing, as are yoga classes, identity groups, and so forth. But they are not essential to a UU church.
What’s an example of something essential? Teaching our faith to our young. No one else can do that for us. It is a core ministry.
We decided on the following Core Ministries for our church– at any campus, no matter the size–
- Sunday Celebration
- Faith formation for children
- Faith formation for adults
- Social Justice
- Care of Souls (Pastoral Care)
- Care of Congregation (Healthy Communication)
- Welcome (hospitality through membership)
- Leadership Development (from membership to leadership)
Each of the areas above has a Team appointed by the senior minister. This is where the ministers and staff put most of their energy into.
Items 1-3 are served by the Creative Team, which is the ministers, a religious educator, and occasionally, a music person. That team now meets every Tuesday for 2 hours.
Items 4-6 are served by the Administrative Team (A Team), which is the ministers, administrator, and facilities manager. This team also handles facilities, logistics, and governance compliance. This team meets every Thursday for 90 minutes.
All the information in the Core Ministry areas is kept in the church Information Guide. It gets updated at least twice a year. It also includes floor plans, organization charts for staff and teams, membership and joining information– all the things we want EVERYONE in the church to pay attention to. It is our priority.
Everything else at church is extra. For adults, we call these “enrichment groups.” Typically, these are:
- adult discussion group
- tai chi class
- women’s circle
- men’s group
- and many, more.
Consider the Core Ministries as the core curricula for developing UU elders. Consider the enrichment groups as “electives.” It gets it’s own paper and electronic publication that is separate from the Core Ministry areas. It’s called the Enrichment Guide.
This means it will be fairly easy to see how staff time, publicity, and other resources will be allocated: primarily to the core ministries. However, people want access to the electives, so we will put forth an Enrichment Group catalog twice per year.
And because we do so many social justice activities (monthly projects, multi-year Signature Project, &c), we also publish an all-3-campus Social Justice Guide.
The Guides are usually published twice per year. Since information doesn’t move that slowly, we also have weekly electronic communications with the latest updates.
This is how we provide focus to our ministry areas, while making sure information about everything we do is easily available to folks.
If you had to list just 10 areas of essential ministry– meaning you could give up other things, if you had to, in order to ensure the success of the essential– what would they be?