Wednesday, September 27, 2006

permission granted

One of the good parts of my job is when people come in and say, "I'd like to do [insert name of cool, world-helping project here]" and I respond, "yes!"

It is, after all, the name of the blog :-)


At 5:03 PM, Blogger nancyp said...

Amen, Yes.

I caught your blog on the UU feed. There is an interesting article "Top-down governance being replaced by bottom-up governance in Alban's Congregation Magazine. "Welcoming the Brand New—Adhocracy
In the process of streamlining their bureaucracies, these churches found themselves reinventing governance. They shed the all too prevalent and pervasive view of leaders as people “elected to do the work,” adopting instead a partnership vision of a leader: “a person who works with people to accomplish a purpose,” redefining leaders as people who work with rather than for the membership. They moved away from the typical “producer-consumer relationship” between leadership and membership, where leaders offer “products” (programs, groups, events, etc.) and hope members will “buy.” Rather than polling members about their needs so they could offer appropriate programs and opportunities to serve, leaders encouraged and equipped groups of members large and small to create their own opportunities for service. The familiar operational mantra, “You come on in,” where leaders beckon the membership to “come join our committee or ministry team, come out to support our programs, come and help us with our work,” becomes “We’ll go out into the membership, helping folks with creative ideas for programs and ministries mold and shape them, helping people with similar callings to link up, form a circle, and put wheels under those ideas.” governance."

This is so intuitively obvious and theologically UU that I didn't realize it counters so many congregational practices especially in small congregations. I spend 15 great years at Annapolis UU where the above was put in place. Now I am learning that some congregations would rather exercise their rights to have nothing than to empower members.

My only negative response the role we give to others to be permission givers. It just seems ironic that in a free faith like ours, we get so hung up on permission within the community to do good things.

In faith, Nancy

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Chip said...

Thank you for Alban cite; I'll check it out. I was just talking with the Worship chair, thinking we could do away with that position, and just have the various tasks: minutes, order of service, coordinators, sound, running the meeting. Distributed leadership.


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