"If someone had told me twenty years ago," the Rev. Rob Eller-Isaacs began our workshop The Promise and Practice of Good Governance, presented at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in June 2013, "that the most exciting, most inspiring aspect of my ministry had to do with governance, I would have laughed in their faces. But the truth of the matter is that when we are able to align our decision-making, align the way in which we operate with our covenantal theology, leadership is liberated. Lay leadership is strengthened, ministerial leadership is liberated, and congregations can move forward in new and transforming ways."
He went on to say that "Covenantal theology is a becoming. It's better perhaps to refer to covenanting, to use the participle form, because it holds us to a practice, a way of being together religiously. Martin Buber, the great Jewish theologian, taught that covenantal community is made up of promise-making, promise-keeping, promise-breaking, and promise-renewing people. Policy-based governance. . .provides us with a framework for living into the practice of covenant. It's not a thing we do once, for all, it's a way of putting our full faith into a continuing conversation, a conversation which, when practiced with patience, and discipline, when allowed the time it needs, gives form and direction to our faith and helps us remember what matters most. Policy-based governance is a unique way of church which brings our decision-making into alignment with our theology and our heritage."
If you'd like to learn more about promise-making, promise-keeping, promise-breaking and promise-renewing in congregational governance, more about developing a covenanting practice in congregational governance, check out the following resources on our website:
Participant booklet from The Promise and Practice of Good Governance
Recorded Webinar: Principles of Good Governance
Recorded Webinar: The Nested Bowls of Values, Mission and Ends
Recorded Webinar: Role Clarity for Visionary and Operational Leadership
Recorded Webinar: Leadership Cycle in the Mission-Focused Congregation
Our thinking about the role of governance in congregational life.