Should we attract consumers or questers?

The Rev. Naomi King, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Plantation, Fla., posed the following question in the UU Growth Lab on Facebook:

Is your community living missionally or attractionally? When we devote our energies to making our congregations attractional, we’re providing a service that can be consumed, and we’ll be rated and expected to produce a high-grade consumable product, usually without a comparable budget. I’d argue that that rarely equips people for a life-changing spiritual quest, and it does even less for truly changing this world for the better.

It does tend to feel great for the consumer, though, (while creating) super-high anxiety for the service providers. When we’re living missionally, we’re on an astounding adventure together, in a multitude of ways, to transform this world for greater goodness, to be changed ourselves, and to give thanks and praise along the way.

The anxiety in missional congregations is more evenly distributed because everyone has their part to do as part of the questing company. Everyone’s gifts are important, and everyone bears big responsibilities about saving the world. Risk is there, failure is present, but failure is embraced as a chance to learn. Risk is just part of meaningful life.

The mission is more important than comfort, because we’re on fire with the passion of that mission . . . Is yours an attractional community model of growth or a missional community adventure model of growth?

Find out more about the UU Growth Lab here.