Someone emailed asking if I’ve used Tapestry of Faith, the UUA’s new “cradle-to-grave” lifespan faith development curricula. I haven’t. Have you? The issue was raised if this is serving to “deepen the pool.” A reference to my comment that we lose youth in part because we offer them a shallow pool faith wise which they leave for bigger and deeper things.
Relevance to growth? An outstanding faith development ministry (program, strategy, _____) must be a pillar of what we do in our congregations, our success, and our growth. From my small group work I talk a lot about congregational life serving to help us….
- form connections/relationships
- create/find meaning, and through the interaction of these two (a.k.a. purpose & community)
- take inspired action.
As of this post that’s my church growth trinity — Connection, Meaning, Inspired Action. The Rev. Bob Hill, former South West district executive and Covenant Group/Small Group Ministry advocate, often spoke of our need for “intimacy and ultimacy” and the power of small groups to help us find this. Over time I’ve added a third leg to the stool — you need three to stand, righ? — which is what I call inspired action. At a past UUA Larger Church Conference I shared this with the Rev. Tom Chulak. I told him I just needed a more eloquent term so it would fit in with “intimacy and ultimacy.” He suggested the word efficacy. Not bad. Intimacy, Ultimacy, Efficacy. I use meaning, connection and inspired action — you don’t have to translate.
Anyhow, I wonder how your congregation is doing on these three. How intentional are you about each?