Membership and Belonging A Guide to Membership in UU Congregations

Frame filled with smooth stones of many colors

Membership in UU Congregations is an intentional process of commitment and covenant. This guide provides practices and tools useful in training membership teams and/or professionals.

Membership in Bylaws

As part of our congregational polity, all decisions are either made or delegated (e.g. to the minister, the board of trustees, the endowment committee, the nominating committee, etc.) by the authority of the full "membership in meeting." Your congregational bylaws should give clear direction about how people become members, when they are eligible to vote or hold office, and how and why a person might be removed from membership.

Expectations of Membership

Each congregation determines for itself what it means to be a member. Some areas to consider are:

  • Agreeing to the congregational covenant
  • Accountable to the congregational policies
  • Supports the congregation financially and with their volunteer time
  • Participates in the life of the congregation (e.g. attends Sunday services, is part of a Small Group, attends social events)

There have been several UUA Commissioned studies that have touched on membership:

Strategies for Membership Growth and Vitality

Below you will find a collection of resources that include strategies for sustainable membership growth.