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Membership, Growth, and Outreach

People interacting and reading handouts at a congregation's new member workshop.

Participants discuss the responsibilities of membership during a UU101 class at the UU Church of Delaware County in Media, Pennsylvania.

Congregational growth is about many things—not just numbers. Five ways that congregations grow are:

  • numerical—the number of people attending worship and programs, or number of members
  • maturational—the spiritual maturity of each member
  • organic—a congregation's ability to maintain its health and engage the world
  • incarnational—making real and living our values in the world
  • associational - joint efforts with other UUA congregations, other communities of faith, and the wider community *

Each of these areas relates to the others: as our congregations grow in health, maturity, and outward-focused values, we support our growth in numbers. As our membership resources make clear, people are motivated to join congregations that lead meaningful worship and programs and offer many ways to engage.

Supporting Congregational Growth

Our UUA Congregational Life staff offer workshops, education, and leadership to help grow your congregation.

Our UUA Outreach Team offers resources for getting the word out and building relationships with prospective UUs.

Stories of Growth Success

As Unitarian Universalists, we work together in a voluntary covenant with other congregations. As such, we grow and learn best when we work together. We celebrate innovating growth work of Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations through Breakthrough Congregations.

*This model of four types of growth was devised by Ted Buckle and popularized by Loren Mead in his book More Than Numbers: the Way Churches Grow. The fifth "associational" lens was added by UUA staff member Jan Gartner.