Congregational Size Theory Resources for Growth
Congregational Size Theory Resources for Growth

Congregational growth specialists who have found it useful to understand common characteristics among similar sized congregations by grouping them into categories. Arlin Rothauge in particular was instrumental in developing a theory of congregational size and the dynamics that each size grouping tends to produce. Other thinkers, such as Roy Oswald and Alice Mann, have further elaborated on his work.



  • What Size Is Our Congregation by Dan Hotchkiss 
    It’s harder to size up a congregation than it used to be. It’s still worth trying, though, because no one fact says more about a group of human beings than its size. A group of 20 people behaves differently from a group of 200, or 400, or 800. 
  • Does Size Really Matter? by Sarai Schnucker
    Rice Congregational life has very few reliable metrics, and when we think we’ve found one, we all seize upon it, grateful for some measure of certainty in an otherwise murky world. For example, it seems as if we’ve been talking forever about family, pastor, and program.
  • Should We Be Growing? by Alice Mann
    As a congregation wrestles with the possibility of growth, it is important to create space where leaders and members can explore their own particular desires in this matter and recognize the conflicts that exist even within themselves. 
  • Measuring Size and Complexity by Susan Beaumont
    Understanding the capacity limits of congregational systems is not simply an exercise in measuring attendance.


About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

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