Thursday, 29 July 2010

Growth and/ or development

Do growth and development mean the same thing? A brief surf of the Internet suggests that they don't. Here's one phrase that I found: Growth is related to increase in quantity of what we already have whereas development means both quantitative and qualitative improvement. That's the basic difference.

Within the UK Unitarian community there is talk of growth and the need to grow or die - growth is spoken about in terms of numbers and to a lesser extent in terms of our communities growing together. The EC has produced quite a lot of material in order to help congregations to grow which can be found here. This may or may not be helpful given the situation that your community finds itself in.

If we look at the more broader term of development then what is it that you want to develop? This will be unique to your community - who is a part of that, what they bring and where they want to be going. You have to develop trusting relationships and think about how to do things a little differently - easing yourselves into a new way of being.

In our local community we wanted to develop a loving community which supported its current members in their spiritual seeking and spiritual development. To focus on the quality of relationships within the community and to shape the community and its activities so that it enabled people to be authentic in their spirituality, enabling them to give as well as take and enabling them to be part of the co-creation of the community. The focus has not just been within the community but that was where we started.

For all communities it is about starting where you are - if what you do does not serve you well it is unlikely to serve anyone else well. But there is always something that you do that pleases you - what is that and how can you develop that more?

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