Dreaming Big?

For those of you who might not remember reading this from me, I grew up in the Disciples tradition (Church of Christ-noninstrumental for you home players).

Anyway…the Disciples’ General Assembly started today. So I was looking over the materials that they have describing the different programs and came across this one:

Re-imagining the next 10 years of the new church movement

By the year 2020, more than a third of all Disciples congregations will have been started in the past 10 years! That includes about 700 new churches. This session will engage participants around issues faced by new congregations — their funding, their continued growth, and expansion into uncharted territory.

So let’s study this. In these next 10 years (minus a few months) the Disciples plan to PLANT 700 new churches. 700!!!!! Is the UUA planning on planting ANY?????

After all, the stated purpose of the UUA is:

The primary purpose of the Association is to serve the needs of its member congregations, organize new congregations, extend and strengthen Unitarian Universalist institutions and implement its principles.

 

For all of our talk about the world needing our presence, we sure don’t act like it. If we truly believed that we had a saving message, wouldn’t we be dreaming as big (relatively) as the Disciples? Where is our plan for growth? Or are we really too worried about UUism getting into the wrong hands to even think about dreaming as big as the Disciples?

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5 thoughts on “Dreaming Big?

  1. Kim — the last successful period of congregational planting for Unitarian Universalism was the post WWII fellowship movement.

    Here’s a paper by a Starr King student on the fellowship movement:

    “The Second Radical Reformation: The Unitarian Fellowship Movement”
    http://www.sksm.edu/research/papers/fellowshipmovement.pdf

    UU World had an article on it recently:

    “The fellowship movement”
    http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/90617.shtml

    Rev. Scott Wells also blogged about it recently:

    “What’s wrong with fellowships?”
    http://boyinthebands.com/archives/whats-wrong-with-fellowships/

    Even with the criticism of the fellowship movement, it was one of the few growth strategies that the UUA could financially afford to do. Without the fellowship movement, Unitarian Universalism would be a regional religion mostly confined to New England.

    • “Without the fellowship movement, Unitarian Universalism would be a regional religion mostly confined to New England.”

      Well Steve, at least in terms of the numbers of U*U churches or fellowships in any particular state, isn’t that pretty much true anyway?

  2. :For all of our talk about the world needing our presence, we sure don’t act like it.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

    :If we truly believed that we had a saving message, wouldn’t we be dreaming as big (relatively) as the Disciples?

    Well UUA President Peter Morales at least *is* in fact dreaming (in Technicolor™. . .) much bigger than the Disciples. He is on record saying –

    “We *can* be the religion for our time.”

    Of course the keyword here is *dreaming* (to say nothing of Technicolor™).

    :Where is our plan for growth?

    I have repeatedly asked UUA President Peter Morales to present his plan(s) for exactly how he intends to “grow” the Tiny Declining Fringe Religion™ into The Religion For Our Time™ in *our* time but he has just as repeatedly declined to do so. . . Maybe *you* should ask President Morales to present his 5 year plan if not his 25 year plan. Then again maybe U*Us should have asked him for his plan *before* electing him as UUA President. . .

    :Or are we really too worried about UUism getting into the wrong hands to even think about dreaming as big as the Disciples?

    That’s funny Kim, I thought U*Uism already *is* in the wrong hands. 😉

    Interestingly enough Rev. Phillip Lund was just talking about that today. . .

  3. Pingback: Boy in the Bands - A new fellowship: a thoughts and an outline

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