Organization and Governance

2024 Annual Report to the Congregation

DuPage UU Church governs using a policy-based governance (PBG) model. The style of PBG that we have implemented is flexible and fluid, customizable to our congregation’s established culture and future needs.

What Policy-based Governance (PBG) is:

  • A recognized and widely used guideline for mid-size to large-size church governance and ministry.
  • An understanding that the goal of well-managed governance is to provide an efficient, accountable process behind the ultimate purpose of providing a happy, secure inspirational and spiritual home for members of this beloved community.
  • Clearly defined and documented policy, structure and roles – outlined broadly in the Bylaws approved by the congregation – that help our Minister, Staff, Board, Volunteer lay leaders and Congregation members carry out the work of the church.
  • The elected Board of Trustees acting in a fiduciary capacity to set strategy and provide direction for the Minister and Staff to carry out annual goals, but not without input from the congregation and collaborative discussion with the Minister, Staff and Volunteer leaders to ensure mutual understanding.
  • Assurance that we are on track, through policies that set expectations and accountability for annual planning, goal setting, and discussion, periodic monitoring and evaluation, and transparency in communicating outcomes. A Governance Advisory Committee will help the Board keep its fiduciary focus by planning and monitoring an annual calendar for conversations and evaluations.
  • A renewed emphasis on leadership development and training for elected and volunteer roles.
  • An opportunity for clarity and transparency in budgeting. The annual budget will be based on a vision of programming and priorities for the year, helping the Stewardship team and Congregation set expectations for a successful promise campaign.

What PBG isn’t:

PBG is not a power grab or an effort to micro-manage by the Minister, Staff, or elected leaders.

Policies will be written as statements defining expectations of what can – but also, importantly – what can’t be done (limitations) by the Staff, Leaders, or Volunteers carrying out the purpose of the tasks at hand. The elements of permissions and limitations helps everyone better understand their role and their charge in efficiently performing the work that makes this community hum.

What PBG looks like at DuPage UU:

  • In PBG, a settled Minister may have the title of Head of Staff, but the Minister works for the congregation through established channels of reporting and accountability.
  • The elected Board of Trustees will set strategy and provide direction for the Minister, Staff and Volunteer leaders to carry out annual goals, but not without input from the congregation and collaborative discussion with the Minister and Staff to ensure mutual understanding.
  • Our vibrant programming and need for dedicated volunteers will continue:
    • While bringing valued expertise of his/her own, our settled Minister absolutely will need the assistance, experience, insight and skills of our own elected leaders and volunteers to successfully implement programming that the congregation, staff and lay leadership desire, discuss and approve.
    • Staff will “oversee” areas of programming by way of support and as a point of contact for questions and discussion as they collaborate with volunteer leaders in their committee and team roles.
  • The Congregation has access to the governance structure of reporting, responsibility and accountability, providing clarity and transparency for all.

Doing the work we love, better!