Church Mergers: A Guidebook for Missional Change

Church Mergers: A Guidebook for Missional Change

by Thomas G. Bandy, Page M. Brooks


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The need to merge churches is growing ever more crucial as congregations assess how to thrive in cultural diversity and ever-changing times. Every denomination faces the urgency to shift from maintenance to mission, and from survival to renewal. Church Mergers offers churches of all sizes and traditions practical advice on how to merge successfully. Authors Thomas G. Bandy and Page M. Brooks draw on decades of experience to illustrate why and how missional mergers are possible.

Church Mergers guides congregational leaders and regional planners through the process of successful mergers. It shares the stories of four churches in the merger process, explaining the steps to assess their situations, build trust, and discern vision. The book offers guidance to assess the potential for merger, explore contextual relevancy and lifestyle compatibility, overcome internal and external obstacles, define strategic priorities, create new boards, build leadership teams, combine assets, and more. Church Mergers shows that a faithful, healthy, missional merger is possible, and it illustrates that the whole can indeed be greater than the sum of its parts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566997959
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/21/2016
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Thomas G. Bandy is an internationally recognized consultant, conference speaker, and leadership coach for Christian organizations and faith-based nonprofits. Working across denominations and cultures, he coaches a range of churches. He is the president of Thriving Church Consulting and an associate and author with He has been a pastor, planter, and church transformation specialist, and has provided national leadership for the United Church of Canada.

Page M. Brooks is associate professor of theology and culture at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, where he specializes in theology and Islamic studies. An ordained minister, he has served in a variety of settings and denominations, including as a military chaplain and a pastor. He has planted three churches and experienced three church mergers. Currently he is the lead pastor of Canal Street Church: A Mosaic Community in the heart of New Orleans.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1—Why Merge?
Chapter 2—Unexpected Visions…
Chapter 3—Get Moving!
Chapter 4—Steps on the Journey: Four Churches Model the Merge Process
Chapter 5—The True Cost of Discipleship: Anticipating the Real Price of Success

Stage 1: Preparation
Chapter 6—Trust: Foundation for Candid and Faithful Conversation
Chapter 7—Vision Team: Trusted Leadership to Discern the Future
Chapter 8—Facing Reality: Critical Momentum and Critical Mass
Chapter 9—Breaking Control: Surrendering Privileges

Stage 2: Prioritization
Chapter 10—Hope: Opening to God’s Grace
Chapter 11—Compatibility: Demographic Research, Lifestyle Compatibility, and Mirroring the Mission Field
Chapter 12—Setting Priorities: Measureable Outcomes
Chapter 13—Stress Management: Living Between Grief and Promise

Stage 3: A New Beginning
Chapter 14—New Board: Credible Leadership for Critical Mass
Chapter 15—New Identity: The Symbol of a New Beginning
Chapter 16—Asset Management: Resourcing Teams and Ministries
Chapter 17—Building a Core Team: Competent Leadership for Critical Momentum
Chapter 18—Strategic Planning: Traction and Steering

Chapter 19—A New Beginning: Seven Years Later
Chapter 20—Essential Information: Basics for a Successful Merger

Chapter 21—Critical Momentum: Creating Synergy to Keep Moving Forward
Chapter 22—Critical Mass: Essentials for Congregational Indpendence and Full Time Ministry
Chapter 23—How to Get Traction: How to Get a Grip on the Road to Mission
Chapter 24—How to Steer in the Right Direction: How to Arrive at Your Destination on the Road to Mission
Chapter 25—Why Many Merges Fail … and Some Succeed!

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