This is a summary of the Robert Latham model for a Committee on Ministry. For the Latham's complete appendix about his Committee on Ministry model, see here.
Defining "Ministry": Ministry is everything a congregation does to fulfill its mission.
Thus the COM is continually attentive to the mission and to the covenant among the church membership of commitment to that mission.
COM has no formal authority. They make reports with recommendations, but only other bodies of the church can implement those recommendations (or not).
ROLES of COM
1. Assessment. The COM does the assessment of the minister and also does assessment of the whole congregation. Typically, the COM would alternate between these two: doing a full assessment of the minister every other year and doing an assessment of the congregation during the in-between years.
2. Education. The COM undertakes to keep the congregation aware of:
- the church's mission
- what the COM has recommended and whether/how it is being implemented
- the COM role
3. Consultation. The COM consults with the minister and all the leadership of the congregation.
4. Recommendations. The COM makes recommendations
- that flow from the assessments that it does.
- to the Board concerning ordination of prospective UU ministers and concerning authorization of certain members to represent the congregation in officiating at weddings or memorial services
- in extreme cases, concerning whether a disruptive person's membership should be terminated
5. Conflict Management. The COM initiates and oversees processes of reconciliation when there are conflicts between a congregation member and another member, a staff person, or the minister. The COM does NOT do "conflict resolution." They are tasked to manage the conflict, not resolve it.
CONSTITUTING the COM
The COM consists of 6 people, each serving a 3-year term. The terms are staggered so that 2 new people come onto the COM each year.
Members of the COM should have no other substantial board or committee or leadership or teaching role during the time they are serving on the COM.
The COM is accountable to the congregation. This accountability is normally executed through accountability to the Board.
Typically, the COM would issue three reports to the board per year: 2 smaller reports indicating what work the COM is doing, and 1 larger report at the end of the year which assesses either the minister or the congregation.