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Path to Congregational Membership

We've learned the importance of having clear information about the path to membership for individuals, and how newcomers start that journey. This ministry to members serves equally for prospective and new members, as well as for continuing members.

Welcome: A Unitarian Universalist Primer, is an introduction to our liberating and nourishing faith, including a brief, lucid history; commonly used readings and prayers; and inspirational quotations for newcomers and members alike. Available from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Bookstore

How-to's for Deepening Church Members' Sense of Belonging

These resources have worked for others in their own congregations. They could be useful for your congregation.

Exit Interviews

When people leave our churches it is not always apparent immediately. Some leave because they move away, some die, and some stop attending. The reasons people stop attending can be many. Some people have a change in life circumstances that causes them to stop attending, while others leave due to difficulties they have had at church.

Exit interviews (Word) (PDF) conducted by thoughtful membership committee members can help a congregation to find out if it has work to do in retaining members who otherwise might have stayed. These can be conducted by letter, by phone, by email, or in person, using, or adapting, the series of questions in this exit interview text. An introductory note about the interview, such as the one shown in this resource is a courtesy. Doing exit interviews can help your church to learn more about how involved its members and friends feel.

Combining exit interviews and Congregations Count (please see above) could be highly effective at identifying next steps for member retention and improved ministry to existing members.

Gifts for Newcomers, and New and Continuing Members

Additionally, the UUA Bookstore offers a number of useful resources:

These resources can help your congregation welcome guests, include them more fully in the life of the congregation, and find an accessible path to membership and leadership. At heart, these resources are about deepening and sharing our faith.

After reviewing these hospitality materials, please visit the marketing resources web pages. Marketing outreach and hospitality go hand-in-hand. Advertising can help bring folks to our congregational doors. It is the welcome extended to our guests from that point on that will determine whether they call Unitarian Universalism home.

For more information contact growthresources @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.

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Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

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