The Social Ministry Pyramid

Louvre Pyramid

The Rev. Forrester Church, pastor of Unitarian Church of All Souls, New York City, observes:

“We have a pyramid that we work with: social service or outreach at the broadest base of that pyramid. Then social education, social witness, and social action. In many liberal churches this pyramid has been on its head; it’s been on its point. Social witness or action is deemed the only truly revolutionary and therefore honorable road to follow for a church.”

“Unfortunately, what happens is that a pyramid placed on its point is intrinsically unstable. Churches end up dividing within themselves over, for instance, whether they’re more against war than hunger. . .What we do is build our pyramid on the broad base of social outreach which is—regardless of one’s politics, regardless of one’s beliefs—a universal. It divides no one. Everyone can take part.”


Victor N. Claman, Acting On Your Faith: Congregations Making a Difference (Boston: Insights, Inc., 1994), 125.

Photo:  Jose Luis Hidalgo.  Taken 6.2.15. Flickr Creative Commons.

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