Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mission of UU Churches: Member satisfaction or transformation of community?


Michael Duvall says a few straight forward and interesting things in his book, The Almost Church. In Chapter six entitled "Parishoners as Consumers" he says:

"The purpose of church is not to serve middle class people, many who already enjoy a multitude of life's privileges. The purpose of a church is to call people to serve. Sadly, a number of UU ministers have told me they believe their primary role is to keep parishoners satisfied." p. 32

On p.33, Durall says further, "They believe religion is a commodity to be consumed, not one in which to invest."

A little further on page 33, he writes, "The primary purpose of a church is to create a community of compassion."

On page 34, Durall writes, "I have made the recommendation to numerous congregations that they discontinue the annual 'satisfaction surveys'. UU churches should get out of the satisfaction business. More important issues on at stake."

And I am wondering what they might be, these "important issues at stake" that Michael writes of?

I would think they would be the implementation of our values in such a way that we can make the world a better place and proclaim to the world that there is a better way for us to be doing the world's work by being more just, more respectful, more loving, more generous, more joyful.

Our church, BUUF, needs, in my mind, a collective ministry, an agreed upon purpose having to do with how we can help each other on our spiritual journey and make the world a better place.

Does your church have a collective ministry? Is it making a difference in your community because of the practice of your faith. Leave us a comment and let us how you are doing it.

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