Listening to Experience: UU Ministers Discuss Growth
The Rev. Alice Mann of the Alban Institute was invited by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Growth Team to facilitate a conversation involving twelve ministers from some of the fastest growing Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations in the country. These are congregations of all sizes, from newly emerging to large churches. Here are the questions we asked:
- What draws people to the congregation you serve?
- What is your role as a minister in growing the congregation you serve?
- How does your congregation help people move inward and outward on their spiritual journey?
- What needs to be in place, organizationally, institutionally and practically, for a congregation to grow?
- Within your congregation, what are obstacles or hindrances to growth, and what has helped?
- What in the larger UU system helps and hinders congregational growth?
For nearly three days they shared their success stories and offered insights into how their congregations have grown in spirituality, in membership, and in mission.
- Use the questions and ideas presented here to have a discussion within your own congregation.
- Begin by viewing "Introduction" which will give an overview of the content.
- Before watching the other segments, consider the question in that segment and the discuss your own responses before watch the segment(s) devoted to that question. Consider how your reflections compare to those of the twelve participating ministers.
- Don't try to watch all of the videos in one sitting. Take it a piece at a time. Like a good book, reading a chapter at a time enhances it's value. In this way, you can both explore these questions yourselves and gain insights from the experiences of these congregations.