United Church of Christ

Local Church Resources

Local church leaders can take time to learn about congregation structures, current practices, and available resources in order to strengthen their work and their churches. The Leaders Box, a classic resource, provides guidance for many of the "nuts and bolts" of church life. The following list highlights resources for developing, discerning, supporting and uplifting the ministries of local churches.

Alban Institute weekly newsletters

Any Body, Everybody, Christ's Body (curriculum to help congregations become "A2A," Accessible to All)

Called to Care: A Resource for Lay Caregivers, also available from UCC Resources

Children and Families

Congregational Resource Guide (a joint project of the Alban Institute and the Indianapolis Center for the Study of Congregations)

Considering a New Church Covenant in the UCC (for non-UCC-affiliated churches, this booklet describes the process of mutual exploration between a congregation and a UCC Association when deciding whether to enter into a formal covenanted relationship)

Constitution and Bylaws, a suggested format

Education and spiritual formation

Justice Advocacy training

Lay Ministry Education Programs (advanced faith exploration and education for church members and lay leaders), with many online and in-person programs available through our UCC-related Seminaries

Liturgy of Departure for Military Service Members

Manual on Church (a study of the covenantal relationship between congregations and Associations/Conferences)

Mission Discernment (an online resource for congregations to discern, articulate and grow in God's purpose)

Older Adults

Outdoor Ministries in the United Church of Christ 

Pastor Emeritus/Emerita Recognition

Pastoral Evaluation (recommended reading includes When Better Isn't Enough: Evaluation Tools for the 21st-Century Church by Jill M. Hudson, Holy Clarity: The Practice of Planning and Evaluation by Sarah B. Drummond, and Completing the Circle: Reviewing Ministries in the Congregation by David McMahill)

Pastoral Relations Committee Guidebook

Pastoral Staff Configuration

Sample Funeral Planning Form

Scholarships for undergraduates or seminarians

Shared Ministry (for congregations considering a partnership in space, programming, staff, etc.: GEMS is particularly written for churches of different denominations, while Getting Together describes five different models of church collaboration)

Women's Ministries

Young Adults

Your Church, Deeper (seven ways to create and sustain deep community)

Your Church, Organized (five ways not to restructure, and what to do instead)

Your Church, Safer (resources for congregations developing covenants and practices to protect children and others who are vulnerable to abuse or mistreatment, including these ten steps toward reducing risk); the UCC Insurance Board also offers a SafeConduct abuse prevention program.