Saturday, February 14, 2015

Unitarian Universalism fails because of lack of centralized leadership and discipline

by Brendan O'Reardon

Unitarian Universalism as a denomination will never grow and expand and have much of an organizational influence in our society because of the way it is organized.

It is organized as a loosely affiliated association of smaller independent organizations which are accountable to the larger association by only meager requirements and expectations. This lack of accountability to any set of operating and practice standards leave the local organizations floundering.

Because of the lack of any oversight or higher authority, conflicts and disagreements at the local organizations disintegrate due to localized infighting and schisms. In this day and age with multiple opportunities for affiliation of other kinds, individuals and families walk away and the local organizations become too small to support themselves. Most UU congregations are under 100 people. These small conflicted clusters do not provide a support base for a vibrant national and international organization.

Until local UU congregations are willing to submit themselves to a higher discipline  and accountable cooperation, Unitarian Universalism will continue to be a marginalized and an ineffectual organizational presence in American society. The model of loosely associated cells has not worked and nationally Unitarian Universalism is loosing membership and has no where near the impact it should have given the worth of its ideals..

3 comments:

  1. I think your analysis is correct. When you believe in anything people will fall for anything. The lack of accreditation standards leaves the you you a is cheerleaders but with no Church authority to oversee and manage its local congregational members. This leaves the association in the position of being a cheerleader but having no legitimate authority to intercede end hold accountable local churches. What uu congregations have gained in local control they have lost in terms of aggregate power and authority in our society.

    Thank you for raising this interesting question and I hope that others will contribute their observations and ideas about how the UU way could be more effectively organized so that there is enhanced synergy between local congregations in the overall Association.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think your analysis is correct. When you believe in anything people will fall for anything. The lack of accreditation standards leaves the you you a is cheerleaders but with no Church authority to oversee and manage its local congregational members. This leaves the association in the position of being a cheerleader but having no legitimate authority to intercede end hold accountable local churches. What uu congregations have gained in local control they have lost in terms of aggregate power and authority in our society.

    Thank you for raising this interesting question and I hope that others will contribute their observations and ideas about how the UU way could be more effectively organized so that there is enhanced synergy between local congregations in the overall Association.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The average congregation of any sort in the US, of all denominations, is 75 members. Many denominations, including the Southern Baptists, have congregational organizational structures. We are small because we meet the needs of a small group.

    ReplyDelete