We seek a minister highly skilled in areas that we value deeply and where the minister can provide unique skills and knowledge. The clear message from our Congregational Survey is that the Sunday Worship service is very important and the sermon itself is vitally important to everyone. Eighty percent of survey respondents indicated Preacher as a desired quality in our new minister. There is wide agreement that the sermon topics should be diverse in scope. We want to ponder other religions and philosophies, learn how to cope with life, think about moral and ethical issues, and experience spiritual growth. As for the nature of the sermons, there are those who want an intellectually challenging sermon and those who want a spiritually inspiring sermon. We received several comments noting that these two categories are not mutually exclusive and can actually reinforce each other.
We currently have strong music and worship committees, but still view worship as an important skill for our new minister. We are considering experimenting with creative worship alternatives.
The need for a minister with strong administrative and leadership development skills comes less from our survey than from our other data gathering activities. We conducted many focus groups with members from the congregation, interviewed our interim minister and staff, and gathered input from the board and all major committees. It was clear to the search committee that administrative skills will continue to be important as we complete the move to a program-level church. Also, while we have lots of energetic volunteers, some have been in leadership roles for many years, we recognize the value in rotating leadership opportunities and want to expand the leadership pool.
Newcomers come to Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship with excellent skills but they aren't always comfortable stepping into leadership positions. Three Boise UU members attended the Russell Lockwood Leadership School this year and were excited about the experience. We're committed to expanding church leadership through internal and external training and by identifying and encouraging potential leaders within the congregation and hope our new minister will have some creative ideas to help us make this happen.
Other areas where the minister can deliver special value: The minister will supervise staff. Spiritual guidance and Adult RE are both areas where individuals in the congregation can provide these services, but they are also areas where the minister may have more experience and education, and should be very skilled. Finally, maintaining beloved community and social justice work are core to our identity, and we hope our new minister will have creative ideas for continued growth.