Creating an “opt out” UU Faith


I just read a very interesting post about what is “opt in” versus “opt out” by Seth Godin, author of Tribes, Purple Cow, Unleashing the Idea Virus and a slew of other books you should read. Which ones? Just read everything by Seth. Believe me, it will help…

In the opt in / opt out post Seth talks about how certain things in our society that are good for us have a default of having to “OPT IN.”  You have to DO SOMETHING in order to get the benefit, to sign on, to get involved, to get the benefit.  Retirement plans like 401Ks?  You need to opt in.  Things we don’t care for like unsolicited marketing materials, you have to take the time to “OPT OUT” otherwise it all keeps on coming…

If you look at the way our religious education is set up,  how much of getting onto a lifelong UU track is “OPT IN” where the default is losing touch, not attending for whatever reason, never making it to an awesome district youth conference or to General Assembly, not developing relationships with adult in the church, not knowing the minister, not volunteering, not mentoring younger youth, not, not, not, not ….

Right now data suggests an OPT IN default.  Should it be the default?  Can we make a smooth track and trajectory that guides our youth into the core of our communities and leadership, always letting them OPT OUT if they so choose?

3 thoughts on “Creating an “opt out” UU Faith”

  1. When it comes to raising children, all adults must think of an opt out mode, when children leave the nest and no longer listen with rapt attention.

    I exposed my children to a cult called Mahikari when they were growing up during the summer of 1988 in Atlanta. It was just to let them see a form of Shintoism. When they were small my daughters listened to me preach sermons at a small Indiana Church.

    One Sunday my daughter drove herself to the local UU Church. My sister frowned but I was happy.

    Give our members tools so they can survive when it comes time that they need committee meetings or OWL curriculum no longer. Having a hearing loss that is one type of doing church that I have chosen to have opted out of.

  2. Opt out, really? Sounds like how many dusty churches treat membership. “Well, I’m sure Suzy will be back if we wait” — ignoring that Suzy left the youth group in 1975, lives cross-country and has only one living relation in the church, himself in a nursing home and practically unknown to the newer members of the congregation.

    And besides, a little Seth Godin does a long way. I wouldn’t put to much faith in his shimmering thoughts.

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