MERGING CONGREGATIONS

Establishing a formal relationship with another church that involves sharing or combining staff, facilities, program, and/or mission is a huge undertaking for a congregation.

We have experience helping congregations assess their resources and options in order to weigh the benefits and challenges of merging, federating, nesting, or otherwise sharing staff or resources. A clear direction and theological rationale are crucial.

We find that these relationships between congregations are most effective when the vision is to more faithfully live out a sense of mission and calling rather than merely as a survival option. Survival may be the early motivator but if it remains the only reason, there will be no life.  If the merging of two congregations is the choice, we have found it works best if it is understood as a dying of both to become something new, rather than an acquisition or take-over by one of the other.

While these relationships between congregations are usually less complicated when there is a common polity, we also have experience with church mergers that represent a coming together of more than one denominational polity.

We can offer step-by-step coaching of a leadership team through the stages, Biblical tools and directed spiritual guidance materials, officer training, and direction concerning governance issues throughout the merger. We work to honor and respect the polity issues of congregations in formalizing any kind of shared or combined relationship and are committed to staying in close contact with all the “stakeholders” when denominational interests are involved.

Checklist for Merging Churches

Stages of a Church Merger
Unspoken Adjustment Questions