Multisite Merger as a Growth Strategy, Part 3 of 3

Multisite Merger as a Growth Strategy, Part 3 of 3

What is it we are risking? We are risking successrainbow chalice 02

We’ve heard how people tried to grow Unitarian Universalism in the past. And we can see new models of doing collaborative ministry that could benefit everybody. (Eventually, I’ll update this post with a link to how we’re doing collaborative ministry– it’s mind-blowing!)


The information below is from a 2012 sermon explaining the multisite concept to the Museum District campus.
What do we risk? We risk giving up some of how we do things now– for getting what we say we really want.
We risk outgrowing an old, comfortable identity for a new one better serving a larger purpose.
Change is both gain, and loss. Some folks will feel this loss–  more than others.
The caterpillar– dying to her old form– may not be impressed with the promise of birth as a beautiful butterfly.
But really– there is a much bigger risk. We risk–  success. That’s right.

Guess what the success rate is for multisite churches is?

Is it one out-of-4? Is it 50-50? No, the success rate is NINETY percent.

NINETY percent success.

Of course, that is for evangelical churches. I suppose we have to throw in a fudge factor for liberal churches. But still. NINETY percent success.
As Karen Carlson, on our Transition Team, put it in 2012:
This is a big vision. If you want to expand social justice, if you want to be more than just a small island of liberal religion in the Bible belt, this is an opportunity to step up and [be counted]. (Note: this was also used as the benediction).
So the real danger to our proposition isn’t that we won’t succeed– It is that we will succeed.
Imagine that. Imagine 7 women & men– ministers & educators–  in 3 locations, all creatively collaborating on excellent content to be shared at all locations.
Imagine finally freeing up leaders from administration & operations to lead core ministry teams.
Today, we imagine building a new way of doing Unitarian Universalism.
Today, we do– what has never been done before– we move toward being one UU church in three locations.
And why do we do this? To create a brighter beacon for liberal religion.
And to create a more welcoming home for religious liberals. Let us consider the kind of home we want to build….

One thought on “Multisite Merger as a Growth Strategy, Part 3 of 3

  1. Daniel – great blog. Thanks for doing it!

    I’ve seen here, and elsewhere, people question the premise of growth. Some get quite upset about it, fearing that its a numbers game rather than something both broad and deep.

    First UU Austin over the past few years has gotten very serious about its identity and purpose in the world. Among our ends you’ll find one that could be called “growth” for short hand. However, for us its really much more about “making sure that there’s a seat at the table for every person of good will who wants to join us.”

    We already know that nationally the number of people who identify as UU dwarfs the number who attend regularly. To that we can add an even larger number who are UU but don’t know it yet. Our community and our nation will be a better place when we just tap into the potential that’s already there. Hundreds of thousands of people are hungry for what UUism (at its best) can do.

    This, for me, is reason enough for us to pursue excellence and growth.

    I’m excited to see what First UU Houston accomplishes and look forward to being able to learn from your experiences on the bold course you’ve charted.

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