The membership of a congregation is always changing. As members move or pass away, new members make the congregation their spiritual home. Congregations can be intentional about their health and vitality so that they welcome and retain more new members, leading to church growth.
Roughly one third of Unitarian Universalist congregations have been growing, even as other mainline protestant faiths are shrinking.
Some markers of growing congregations include:
- Transformative Worship: People feel changed for the better after attending a service. Music, song and story are woven with the theme of the sermon.
- Small Group Faith Development: People talk about deep, important topics or themes with a group of other members, building relationships and developing friendships.
- Clear Path to Membership: Visitors and occasional attendees are met with warm, inter-culturally adept hospitality. There are many way to be a part of the community both in participation and support. The congregation has high expectations around members' commitment, participation and financial support.
- Opportunities for Meaningful Service: The congregation offers people opportunities to help make the world a better place, to share their gifts and to stretch their growing edges.
- Outreach: You have all of these great things happening in your congregation and know how to share about them in your social media in a way that invites others to join you.
Learn More About Congregational Growth and Vitality
- Growth Cycles in Congregations
- Family-Size Churches (30-70 members)
- Success in Small Churches (1:16:16) GA Presentation with Rev. Megan Foley and Karen Bellavance-Grace
- Renewing the Family-Size Church (50:21) Keynote Presentation with Rev. Renee Ruchotzke
- Revitalizing the Smaller Congregation (UU Leadership Institute course) with Rev. Megan Foley
- The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, Effective (2010, Bethany House) by Brandon J. O'Brien
- Big Ideas for Small Congregations: A Friendly Guide for Leaders (2007, Spirit of Life Publishing) by Jane Dwinnell and Ellen Germann
- Pastoral-Size Churches (60-175 members)