Minister as 'CEO'

I am people-centered with a knack for understanding systems and process. I have a background as a supervisor and administrator. As a manager and as a supervisor I have had to make difficult decisions. I focus on the needs of the people I am responsible for, balanced with the greater good for the institution and the world. I obtained many skills throughout my career: confidence, time management, computer/software skills, and organizational skills. I am a credentialled Transitions Specialist, having completed the multi-year training with the Interim Ministry Network. I have grown to appreciate the business management skills from my “prior life”. In fact, during my time with First Unitarian of Portland, Rev. Bill Sinkford kept reminding me how valuable my business skills were in the context of ministry. He assigned me areas of responsibility where I could make use of them; for instance, coordinating the worship planning, managing the worship team, coordinating pastoral care and acting as a liaison to the pastoral care team.

Beyond the logistics of administration, a minister must stay focused on right-relationship and 'change management.' One of my strengths is systems analysis and process improvement and I am certified in project management methodology. But I think my training as an interim minister (transitions facilitation), and an Anti-racism/anti-oppression advocate (Conflict management and engagement in compassionate and crucial conversations) are the more important skills. Setting boundaries, being transparent, avoiding triangulation, and keeping an eye on process and the goal are important, but must not ever supersede building relationship and caring for the health of the community.

Another important piece of building a congregational community is leadership. I switch easily from passionate visionary to compassionate listener. I'm not afraid to share my opinions and am equally unafraid to admit that my idea is not the best one, or can be improved upon through the collaborative process.