This world. This place. This life.


Swarm, Part 2

In the UU Growth Lab on Facebook this past week, there was a bit of a conversation about the implications of Dan Harper’s post, “Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates.” Basically, the size of our neocortex means that we can keep track of the relationships in a group of up to 150 members.

What does a congregation do when it gets larger than 150 active members?

I’ve been interested for some time in a model that looks something like mitosis.  One cell, then two cells, four cells, etc., all networked together.

When I learned about the process of bees swarming, that added a new possibility.

I had assumed that the leadership of a congregation would stay put, and be generally supportive of the new spin-off congregations.

But what if the leadership and 60% of the congregation left in search of a new home, leaving the infrastructure of the congregation (including the building) to the remaining 40%.  Would new leadership emerge in the smaller group?  Would the larger group find a new home and flourish there?


Leave a comment

Change agent, know thyself

About ten days ago, Peter Bowden of the UU Growth Blog created a Facebook Group called the UU Growth Lab.  It’s an understatement to say that the group has grown rapidly:  today there are 279 members, and several spin-off groups. Connecting with that many people passionate about the growth of Unitarian Universalism has been incredibly energizing.

There’s a wide range of interests represented among the group’s members, and it’s pushed me to think about who I am as a change agent–and who I’m not.

Here’s the work my gifts and passions equip me for:  I like rebuilding and regrowing dispirited groups, helping each member discover who they are, and what they like to do; I also love making connections between people and groups, creating overlapping networks of creativity.

There are among the UU Growth Lab members people whose gifts and passions equip them to be congregation planters.  Because of the way my history and temperament combine, I know that creating a congregation ex nihilo really isn’t my thing.   But I’m glad it’s theirs.

So what about you?  What are your gifts?  What are your passions?  What amazing work are you uniquely equipped to accomplish?