The role of a called minister in a large congregation is complex and multi-faceted. The expectations outlined in the Letters of Call encompass a wide range of responsibilities. As a result, there needs to be a review process for the called ministers that is broad but not daunting and cumbersome. Based on the recommendations for a review process from a task force comprised of board members and members of the congregation the Board of Trustees adopted an annual ministerial review process in November, 2016.
MINISTERIAL ANNUAL REVIEW PROCESS
The role of a called minister in a large congregation is complex and multi-faceted. The expectations outlined in the Letter of Call encompass a wide range of responsibilities. As a result, there needs to be a review process for the called ministers which is broad but not daunting and cumbersome. To this end the Board has created the standing Task Force on Ministerial Review to conduct an ongoing ministerial review process. This process should be broad enough to assure an accurate performance review.
It is not the purpose of this Task Force to mediate individual complaints regarding one of the ministers. If a Task Force member is approached by a congregational member with an issue regarding one of the ministers, they will encourage the complainant to contact the party directly. If the complainant feels uncomfortable doing this, they will be referred to the Board President who will follow the policy regarding complaints to the Board as outlined in the Governance Document.
TASK FORCE COMPOSITION
The Task Force on Ministerial Review is composed of five members of the congregation, serving staggered two year terms. Three members, of which one is a Board member, are appointed by the Board with the Board member serving as chair. Two members are appointed by the ministers. The ministers may appoint these either jointly or one each separately.
Terms are staggered as follows:
- End of Year One – One Board appointed member and one ministerial appointee complete terms
- End of Year Two – Two Board appointed members and one ministerial appointee complete terms
TASK FORCE REVIEW PROCESS
Ministerial reviews will be an ongoing annual process with focus on half of the areas of responsibilities as outline in the minister’s Letter of Call each year so that all areas of responsibility receive a biennial review.
The Fulfilling the Call document will be utilized, in part, as goals are established and performance is measured.
After the review process is completed the minister will advise the Board of his/her specific biennial goals for the areas of responsibilities most recently reviewed. These goals will form the basis for the next review of these areas.
The Task Force will
- Become familiar with the respective minister’s letter of call;
- Request each minister share with the Task Force their self-evaluation of their previously articulated biennial goals.
- Determine questions to be asked based on the minister(s) previously articulated biennial goals and self-evaluation for the areas of responsibility to be reviewed;
- Determine most appropriate steps for input from the congregation (action plan);
- Meet with the minister(s) to discuss his/her self-evaluation of his/her biennial goals and for his/her input into the questions to be asked and the action plan;
- Conduct the review and create a draft report of conclusions;
- Meet with the minister(s) for his/her input into the draft report and make any appropriate revisions before submission to the Board.
Minister(s) may make submit comments to the Board if they have any significant reservations about the Task Force’s report.
AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITIES TO BE REVIEWED AS OUTLINED IN FULFILLING THE CALL:
YEAR ONE: 2016-2017
(1). Leads worship
(2). Officiates rites of passage
(3). Provides pastoral care and presence
(4). Encourages spiritual development
(5). Leads the faith into the future
YEAR TWO: 2017-2018
(6). Witnesses to social justice in the public square
(7). Leads administration
(8). Pursues personal renewal and professional development
(9). Serves the larger Unitarian Universalist faith
RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR USE IN REVIEW
- Assessing Our Leadership., 2001
- Assessment Tools. Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. 2010
- Congregational Self Assessment. Unitarian Universalist Association. 2001
- Evaluating Ministry In Congregations. 2011
- Evaluation Ministry: Principles and Processes for Clergy and Congregations. Jill Hudson.
- Fulfilling the Call: A Model for UU Ministry in the 21st Century. Unitarian Universalist Association. 2013
- Joint Recommendations on Ministerial Agreements. Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. October 18, 2012. (included with report)
- Some Helpful Tips for Doing Annual Ministerial Review. UUA 2007.
- UUMA Guidelines for the Conduct of Ministry. Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. 2013.
- When Better Is Not Enough: Evaluation Tools for the 21st Century Church. Jill Hudson.
- When Moses Meets Aaron. Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations. Gil Rendle & Susan Beaumont. 2007