Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Board's 2017 Agenda: Build Trust in Leadership

As the new year begins, I wanted to share what the board has been talking about/thinking about for 2017. In the new year, one of the most important outcomes we hope to achieve is building trust between the congregation and the board through better communication.

It is no secret that our church has a long history of mistrusting leadership. Some of that might be for a good reason, and some of it may be the way we're wired as UU's. Challenging authority and breaking convention has often defined who we are as people. After all, we are fighting against injustice, we are breaking the conventional norms of economic inequality, and we are tearing down the barriers of structural and institutional racism. Combine this UU ethic with the Baby Boomer's signature traits of fierce individualism, and institutional mistrust, and you have... well, a challenging environment for leaders.

That's just the way it is. No one ever said leadership shouldn't have challenges. With this framework as a general context, it is the responsibility of church leadership to build trust.

It is our intention as a board in 2017 to promote not only transparency about the decisions that are being made, but also educate congregants on board governance process (as boring as it seems). By doing this, we hope to build confidence in the process and a trust that as board members, we are doing our best to stay true to the mission of the church. Just as importantly, we want to be more intentional about listening to what congregants are saying, particularly congregants who we may not typically hear from. Please don't mistake this for an opportunity for you to complain to a board member who will magically make all the issues you have with the church go away. This is not our offering. But what we are offering is to listen and listen deeply so we can more effectively align the needs of the congregation to achieve our mission to connect, grow, and serve. Our door should always be open for a meaningful conversation.

Look for more in the coming weeks about our efforts and your participation in building trust. As a thought starter, how would you answer this question:

"What does it mean to be a trusting and vulnerable church community that transforms us into our best selves? How can this help us to grow and serve?"

Write your answer to me by commenting at the bottom of the blog, or email me at:

I look forward to hearing from you and Happy New Year!

Commitment.  Diversity.  Compassion.  Gratitude.  Trust.