- Be visible! My favorite way to achieve visibility is through charity work, but there are lots of ways to do it. Send your youth group out to do carwashes. Buy 100 attractive Chalice pins and give them away to everybody in your congregation willing to talk up UUism to people who ask about the pin. Help people, make them happy and get on the news doing it. Frankly, UUism never looked so good as it did on news broadcasts of gay weddings in Massachusetts. Run a day care, work for meals on wheels, build a house for habitat and get on the news. Whatevers. But do things. We’ve never recruited a single member while sitting in a meeting room and bitching.
My least favorite way of being visible is to protest something. Even if people agree with what you’re protesting about, you still look cranky and unhappy when people actually see you. Cranky and unhappy does not make a person say “Gee, I want to join those guys!”
- Talk about freedom, early and often There’s nothing wrong with sounding Christian, but make it clear what UUism has to offer that is unique. Talk about freedom, talk about reason, don’t talk about the seven principles. Focus on what makes us different.
- Talk about fatih Talk about belief, talk about theology, and get everyone talking about it. As they get comfortable doing so, they will talk to their friends. And their friends will show up.
- Train everyone to use the phrase “well, I can’t tell you what UUs believe, but I can tell you what I believe…” because it is intriguing and because you know some of your fellow UUs believe stupid stuff.
- For God sakes, talk to newcomers Duh!
- Start a Newcomers’ hang out group in every church. Say, meeting for brunch after every service (well, the second services in big churches.) Invite all newcomers to brunch and make sure several long time members who are good company go each week. If newcomers make friends, they won’t leave.
- Pimp those famous UUs. People need to know that the guy who created The Simpsons is a UU. Christopher Reeve? A UU. The guy who discovered oxygen? UU. The congressman currently running newspaper ads mocking Randy “Duke” Cunningham? UU! Let the world know that UUs are very cool people. Focus on the wiseasses and rebels.
- Don’t pander to people of other races I’d like to have a more racially diverse UUA, too, but attempts to make this happen in any non-organic way just look pathetic. If we make things not suck, they will come.
That’s all I can think of for now.