UUCF considers board portfolios

I got my copy of the current Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship newsletter (Good News) in the mail yesterday.

Seems the UUCF board has “discussed [and implemented] a model [of leadership] based on the UUMA Exec Board, with board members having defined portfolios.” The four “major portfolios” are Events, Publications, People, and Vision. This is a far sight better — I hope and guess — than the laundry list of committees the UUCF had when I was a new member, back in 1991.

Can anyone give the UUCF some advice on this model? Anyone have good tips based on real-life church or organization experience? I know it isn’t rare or rocket science but it would make a nice change from the “all Carver Model discussion, all the time” rut Unitarian Universalists have gotten into.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Thanks Scott for the post and invitation to comments. People can also send ideas and tips to me at RevRonRobinson@aol.com. Also the GN article was a brief excerpt really of my report on the Board Retreat and decisions and so I will be glad to send out the full report of the summary of each session as we looked at history, visions and challenges, and actions. This model promises to help us be focused and at the same time multiply leadership and do a better job at the main tasks we have taken on. Implementation is another thing and will take us a bit I am sure but the energy coming out now is exciting. Also might be interesting to get comments etc. on our new mission statement too–“witnessing to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives” and the various action/portfolios is how we organize ourselves to carry out that mission. Again, thanks. blessings, Ron, Exec. Dir. UUCF

  2. our smallish (100 member) church has used board portfolios for a while and it has been successful, especially if the committee structure is not particularly strong. we divide up the committee portfolios into related areas (religious education, membership, finances, building/grounds, social justice/concerns, worship). Each board member agrees to take on an area they have passion about and works with the relevant commitees and staff members to ensure communication/alignment between board, leaders, staff, and congregation. I think it works pretty well. A problem can arise if someone doesn’t attend meetings regularly- their portfolio area is then not as represented. Another problem is if board member becomes committee chair- they should NOT. Board member should be a partner/support/liaison to com. chair/volunteer group. Defining this role better is helpful, so all know what to expect.

    Don’t really know much about Carver model except that it sounds like it works better in large churches with lots of staff and some folks don’t like it. I know that in my UU district, they want to move that way, and due to finances, size, turnover of staff… haven’t gone that way yet; they need board members to do some heavy lifting, not just sit back and set direction/supervise.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.