Membership, Growth, and Outreach
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.
Congregational Size Dynamics and Transitions
Growth in numbers brings many blessings—and also significant challenges. Congregations of different sizes need different approaches. Further, as congregations grow, they need to start doing things differently in order to maintain the growth. The curated resource lists below are designed to help you. They are organized based on your average weekly adult attendance:
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.
Join in Conversation With Other UUs
As your congregation grows, things will change – some automatically and some will require intentional adjustments. For support, advice, and encouragement along the way, join the with Unitarian Universailsts online:
*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.