Growth & Visibility

What can we do as congregations to attract newcomers?

It’s a question I’m sure we’ve asked ourselves many times. Between us we will have tried many different approaches, some undoubtedly more successful than others.

This new page on the MUA website contains some straight-forward suggestions about this, from the MUA Executive Committee and elsewhere. These ideas may help.

They have all been tried and have ‘worked’ to a greater or lesser extent in congregations across the MUA region and the rest of the UK. You may already have tried some of them, and you may possibly regard others as impractical from your point of view.

Nevertheless, if only one of them strikes a chord with you and your congregation and can be used in an effective way, then this exercise of sharing Growth and Visibility suggestions will have been worthwhile.

Please let me know if you find any of these ideas helpful. Please also send us any other ideas that you believe are effective in this respect, so that we can also publicise these for others to use.

Sharing our expertise in these matters can only be helpful.

I hope that you will find this of some help, and look forward to hearing from you.

Ash James – President MUA


Other Unitarian online resources for Growth and Visibility

  • Unitarian Communication Coordinators Network: this is a forum to provide useful publicity information to Unitarians and aid communication between those wishing to promote our movement. This excellent website includes links to training videos, UK Unitarian TV, DUWIT – the organisation that offers free website development to all UK Unitarian congregations, publicity ideas – loads of them, how to make a banner, a collection of Unitarian clip art and some very useful links. UCCN holds an annual conference in November, which is very worthwhile attending.
  • 2020: Growing Unitarianism in Great Britain: this is the website of the 2020 initiative, whose goal is “to support the development of new and rekindled congregations without diverting General Assembly resources from existing congregations and other ongoing efforts.”
  • Unitarians in Britain – the website of the General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches: as you might expect, this website has loads of information about Unitarianism on it. But it also has some pages which are specifically about Growth and Visibility:
    1. The Congregational Growth Scheme
    2. The Publicity section includes many useful sections, including consistent identity (approved Unitarian logos), various chalice logos, document templates, editable posters, posters, leaflets, pull up stands and a diversity banner (for loan), web support and an image library with over 7,500 images of Unitarian people and places in it.

Useful Texts

  • The Growing Church: Keys to Congregational Vitality by Thom Belote. Skinner House Books, 2010 (from UUA bookstore)
  • Growing A Beloved Community: Twelve Hallmarks of a Healthy Congregation by Tom Owen-Towle. Skinner House Books, 2004. (from UUA bookstore)
  • Big Ideas for Small Congregations by Jane Dwinell and Ellen Germann-Melosh. Spirit of Life Publishing, 2007.
  • Churchworks: a Well-Body Book for Congregations by Anne Odin Heller. Skinner House Books, 1999.
  • The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. Zondervan, 1995.
  • Beyond Church Growth: Action Plans for Developing a Dynamic Church by Robert E. Logan. Fleming H. Revell, 1989.
  • Antagonists in the Church: how to identify and deal with destructive conflict by Kenneth Haugk. Augsbury Publishing, 1988.