Thousands of Protestant churches are perplexed by plateaued or declining attendance, while other congregations nearby thrive. Is there a way for them to combine forces, drawing on both their strengths, in ways that also increase their missional impact?
In Better Together, Expanded and Updated: Making Church Mergers Work, church merger consultant Jim Tomberlin and award-winning writer Warren Bird make the case that mergers today work best not with two struggling churches but with a vital, momentum-filled lead church partnering with a joining church. This much-needed resource describes the range of mergers for strong, stable, stuck, and struggling churches. No matter what type of merger a church may be considering, the authors address key questions about the process: How can a merger help a church go forward? How will a merger process unfold? Where can a declining church find another congregation to join? What are the pitfalls that both pastor and congregation should avoid? How can "better together" lead to more, rather than fewer, life-giving, high-impact, reproducing churches? They provide a complete, practical, hands-on guide for church leaders of both struggling and vibrant churches, so they can understand the issues, develop strategies, and execute mergers for church expansion and renewal--ultimately, so they can reinvigorate declining churches and give them a "second life."
No matter what your motivation for merging your church with another--to begin a new church life cycle, cross racial lines, reach more people for Christ, multiply your church's impact, or better serve your local community--Better Together will give you the tools you need to create a thriving new entity.
|Publisher:||Augsburg Fortress, Publishers|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||9 MB|
About the Author
Jim Tomberlin, through The Unstuck Group, helps churches get "unstuck" and multiply through multisite and merger coaching. He has pastored churches in New Mexico and Germany, grown a megachurch in Colorado, and pioneered the multisite strategy for Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Since 2005 he has been consulting and coaching churches in developing and implementing multisite strategies. A graduate of Georgia State University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Jim is the author of three books: 125 Tips for MultiSite Churches, Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work, and Church Locality: New Rules for Church Buildings in a Multisite, Church Planting, and Giga-Church World. Contact Jim on Twitter @MultiSiteGuy or @MergerGuru.
Warren Bird is vice president for research and equipping at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). His research has been cited in dozens of mainstream media such as CNN and major newspapers, as well as in Christianity Today and numerous other religious channels. An award-winning writer, he has authored or coauthored thirty-one books for ministry leaders. These include pioneering books on church trends, leadership development, healthy pastoral succession, breaking church growth barriers, and developing effective senior leadership teams.
Table of Contents
Foreword Craig Groeschel xvii
I The New Church Merger Landscape
1 Mergers Are Everywhere 3
2 God Is Moving! 9
3 Why Merge? 20
4 Nine Merger Drivers 33
II How Healthy Church Mergers Work
5 Four Merger Models (But Only Three that Work) 61
6 Stages and Speed of a Merger 76
7 Measuring Church Merger Success 91
8 Why Mergers Fail 106
9 Navigating Personnel Changes 122
10 Church Mergers vs. Marketplace Mergers 132
11 When Two Become One: Legal and Financial Aspects of a Church Merger 141
III Is a Church Merger in Your Future?
12 Is Your Church Leadership Merger Friendly? 157
13 Is Your Church a Good Merger Candidate? 171
14 How to Start the Merger Conversation 189
15 Tools for the Merger Journey: Templates, Examples, and a Checklist 203
16 Where Do You Go from Here? 223
Appendix A Merger Research 231
Appendix B Merger Facts 233
Appendix C 25 Issues to Determine Feasibility: Sun Valley and Bethany Community Church 236
Appendix D 25 Issues to Determine Feasibility: Christ Fellowship Miami 243
Appendix E FAQs from Woodside Bible Church 250
Appendix F Churches Named 253
Meet the Authors 259