Board Buzz: Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Ministry Teams

Nov 30, 2023 | Beacon, Exclusively For Members

In today’s diverse and dynamic world, creating welcoming and inclusive ministry teams is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and unity within the church community. This year, the Board and the Budget Committee asked teams to change how they think of finances in an effort to keep within our budget. As Board President, I understand the importance of inclusivity, and I believe it can be achieved without straining the budget. Here are some examples of how ministry teams can work on creating a rich and vibrant church community without spending a dime.

  1. Emphasize Inclusivity in Leadership: To promote inclusivity within ministry teams, it’s essential to start from the top. Encourage your leaders to embody inclusivity through their actions and decisions. Provide training on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to help them understand the value of diverse perspectives and the importance of making everyone feel heard and valued. The Nominating Committee used this to help guide them in finding individuals for the current Board. Keep in mind, many employers offer this kind of training, so you may have the skills in your group already and don’t know it!
  2. Leverage Existing Talent and Skills: As a stay-at-home mother with a passion for gardening, skiing, painting, and dancing, I’ve learned that harnessing existing skills and interests can be a powerful way to foster inclusivity. Encourage members of your ministry teams to share their talents and interests with others. These activities create opportunities for meaningful connections within the church community without added expenses. For example, I have seen my children thrilled to go to classes taught by Tom Ball, sharing his knowledge and skills of tech with our children. And Wenda Collins shares her skills in art to create logos helping the Outreach Team and children’s stories for the RE program.
  3. Foster Cross-Team Collaboration: Effective collaboration between ministry teams can significantly enhance inclusivity. Encourage teams to share resources and ideas, collaborate on events, and support each other’s initiatives. This cross-pollination of ideas can lead to innovative approaches without requiring additional funding. For example, Porchlight creates opportunities to bring in Ministry Teams to provide dinners, giving the teams an opportunity to do a fun, social justice activity together, while also supporting another ministry in the church. Also, the Earth and Climate Action Ministry (CAM)Team has worked with outside groups to host events here, like the 250 trees they helped pass out during the pandemic! (link:
  4. Create Inclusive Communication Channels: Effective communication is key to inclusivity. Establish a variety of open and inclusive communication channels where members can voice their opinions and concerns. This can be done through regular town hall meetings, suggestion boxes, or online forums. Ensure that all voices, including those on the margins, are heard and respected. By actively listening to diverse perspectives, your ministry teams can better address the needs of the entire congregation.

As we work towards a more welcoming and inclusive church community, let us remember that the greatest resources we have are the passion and dedication of our members. By harnessing these resources wisely, we can create an environment where everyone feels valued and included.

by Signe Lalish-Menagh, president