Adapted to humanistic language appropriate to Ethical Societies, the following are the 12 keys to congregational growth, according to this model:
- One major effective outreach program: building a more humane world in the broader community
- One-to-one relationship-building within the Ethical Society: help and hope for human hurts, connection with members and friends of the Ethical Society
- Sunday platform meetings that are warm and welcoming, intellectually stimulating and encouraging of ethical growth and development
- Informal and formal groups facilitating connection for members to find relationships of sharing and caring — for roots, place and belonging.
- Strong lay/professional leadership team – managerial and visionary
- Solid, clear participatory decision-making process
- One major program other than Sunday platform meetings: person centered, excellent execution (might include Ethics for Children programming)
- Open accessibility: location, site, building and people are easy to find
- High visibility in the community: site, signs, communications, people
- Land, landscaping and parking adequate (in capacity) for normal and special event use, on Sundays and weekdays
- Welcoming, balanced, well-maintained space and facilities, including for Sunday meetings, weekday programs and children’s Sunday programming
- Adequate and well-managed financial resources, including generous financial support by members in proportion to income levels and good management of interest-bearing investments.
Numbers 1-6 are “satisfiers” which bring people into Societies and help them bond with the Society and find a satisfying experience; 7-12 are “dissatisfiers” which, if they are not there, can lead to membership frustration and dissatisfaction and even loss.
Thriving Societies do really well on about 3 of these, and don’t do terribly on the others.
Recommended Reading: Twelve Keys to an Effective Church by Kennon Callahan