"Success stories" is a regular feature of the UU A Way Of Life ministries blog which appear on Wednesdays.
Ashley: What's happening at your church?
Jonathan : Our church has grown from 56 members to 115 in the last 18 months.
Ashley: That's double. What contributed to the growth?
Jonathan: We hired a new minister who is very gifted at developing a sense of community.
Ashley: How has she done that?
Jonathan: By developing relationships with each member of the congregation, perceiving each person's talents, gifts, and interests, and encouraging them to share them with the congregation.
Ashley: Don't alot of ministers do that?
Jonathan: Hopefully, but this minister not only encourages but provides opportunities that challenge people a bit to experience their better self in the sharing. It is one thing to recognize people's talents, abilities, and interests, and to encourage the person to share it, but the most important step is in creating and providing opportunities. Usually that last step is not engineered and so nothing is mobilized, no traction is gained, and no results are produced.
Ashley: Once people utilize the opportunity, they are more invested?
Jonathan: Exactly, and once people are more personally invested they want to share their work, and they invite family and friends to come and witness it, and as these people visit and witness, the enthusiasm and spirit is contagious, is infectious, and the community grows.
Ashley: Thanks for the interview.
Jonathan: Thank you for the opportunity.