New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Here is a fictitious story about a congregation to give an illustration of
making decisions using ratios. The figures in the ratios are derived from
the membership data the congregation collects.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of C’s (UUCC's) membership has been flat for years. Even
though they add 60 members per year, instead of steady growth the numbers change
primarily when there is more or less vigorous attention to taking inactive
members off the active list—caused, say some members, because the church has a
“revolving door” of new members who do not stay and point to examples of members
that have left. The membership chair is being strongly encouraged to implement
higher standards for membership, and insure those who join get connected
Once UUCC looked at why members left, they discovered over
half had moved, about a quarter had died, and the rest had lost interest—but
when the number who had lost interest was expressed as a percent of the total
membership, it was very low compared to other churches of like size. Most new
members were leaving because it was a transient community—very few just became
inactive, and that was often due to changes in their own lives that made the
church less relevant for them. The simple fact is that the larger the church,
the more new members are needed just to stay even. If UUCC wants to grow, it
will likely make more progress by focusing on more new members.
Let's look at another example of using ratios to make
For more information contact growthresources @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Monday, August 8, 2011.
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