In discussing the future of the mainline I was wondering about the idea which UUS have pursued over the last several decades; the development of fellowships, even small ones of a dozen or so members, which do not require ordained leadership. Perhaps some certification program could be had for the lay leadership.
One could imagine the possibilities this, for instance, in church planting. Such fellowships could, as many have, grow to be large enough for such things as ordained leadership, but it shouldn’t be a starting requirement for the development of new congregations, something the mainline needs to be serious about.
Also it could provide some means by which smaller churches, which are struggling to keep their doors open, so they could focus on other issues from growth to mission. I haven't read any studies on this, but I'd be curious how this has worked for the UUs. And I'd be interested in seeing how church planting has worked for the mainline.