Along with colleagues from other faith-based organizations, Lisa Robbins, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s director of human resources (HR), saw the need for a network of people in their line of work.

And so they formed one.

The Ministry Resource Network was founded a few months ago by Robbins; Deb Rice, a consultant at Missional Movement International; and Maureen Cleary, director of HR for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.

The network’s goal is to provide resources for ministry leaders who serve, guide and lead in the areas of human resources and organizational and leadership development.

“There’s a particular way of doing HR in the church world,” Cleary said.

HR work in a church or faith-based setting is different from that in a corporate setting, she said. Decisions are made differently, with more of a focus on consensus than on hierarchy.

Corporations don’t typically deal with the sense of call felt by many who work in churches, Rice said. Employees of faith-based organizations often have their beliefs tied more into their identity and see their work as part of the body of Christ, making it more personal. 

The network is hosting its first conference Sept. 29 in Nashville. In addition to speakers and workshops, the conference will give participants a chance to network and explore options for the new network.

Featured speakers are Libby Sartain and Nancy Reece. Sartain is the former chief human resources officer of Southwest Airlines and Yahoo! and has written several books. Reece is a senior consultant at Human Capital Group Inc. and the author of “The Dichotomy of Power.”

HR directors from national offices of many denominations — PC(USA), Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Episcopal — will attend the conference, but the leaders stress that the network is meant for anyone involved in leadership or development in a church or faith-based organization of any size or shape.

“Anyone interested in making a positive impact on an organization, on others or in their life” should think about getting involved in the network or attending the conference, Robbins said.

For more information on the conference and to register, click here.