I asked a district representative why 80% of the churches in the UUA have a membership of less than 100 congregates. She said simply, "Because congregations don't know how do handle conflict."
This answer resonated with me but didn't seem to be very helpful because it left me wondering how congregations might be helped to better resolve conflict. Conflict resolution and mediation workshops never did much for me. Having learned the gimmicks and techniques of active listening and negotiation etc. I still felt these gimmicks and techniques weren't getting to the crux of the matter which is how groups best function to begin with. Having grown disillusioned with the experience in my own small congregation I have finally found an explanation which I find much more relevant and meaningful.
To be continued