Friday, October 13, 2006
A mega-church like community of liberals.
Peter Bowden at Live From UU Planet says that the guy behind “Daily Kos” would like to start “mega-church like communities of liberals” across the red states.
From the Wired interview that was Bowden’s source:
“And once he gets his network of sports blogs ramped up, he'll turn to building communities in the real world, a chain of giant meeting places "replicating megachurches for the left" – complete with cafés and child care. Moulitsas has shown he can harness people's enthusiasm, but he says he doesn't want a leadership role in these "democracy centers."”
My first reaction was “Please, please, Daily Kos man, finish your hockey blog and do this. Because if everybody who wanted a ‘mega-church like community of liberals’ started by a guy like this left UUism, we might actually get some theology done and start attracting people who are looking for some depth and substance. The initial drop in membership would suck, but I think there would be a huge long term gain.”
Naturally Bowden sees things differently. He seemingly would like the UUA to BECOME the “mega-church-like community of liberals.” He seems to think that the UUA is against becoming such a place, which is weird to me because as far as I can tell, Bowden is describing exactly what the UUA wants to be.
Here are his suggestions:
We need to...
• Have a viable brand name that can be remembered by the children.
• Have a vision, mission, and/or purpose and principles that adults - including professional leadership - can articulate clearly.
• Know that you have to have an environment and coffee that rivals starbucks.
• Have a clear pathways for personal growth and development
• Offer leadership development that goes beyond either you're a lay person or your a fully trained ordained called and salaries minister with more debt and responsibility than you'd really like.
• Develop organizational processes for making statements and taking action that are not so brutal that people choose to leave to find a more efficient and nimble organization to work through.
• Get clue about youth . Yes, youth want to be empowered, but they want to be empowered to do something that matters.
The thing is, I don’t object to any one of those suggestions individually. Actually, assuming we don’t use all of these vision statements as creeds, I pretty much like them all outside of the rivaling starbucks bit, especially if we start making some statements and taking some actions that are more than political.
But I sure don’t like the idea of where those suggestions might take us.