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Mergers between congregations

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by wordsmyth, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. wordsmyth

    wordsmyth New Member

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    With the neighborhood church in decline in many - if not most place, and the rise of regional congregations that project a wide ministry footprint, what is happening that you know about in regard to mergers between smaller congregations where you live?

    I've been reading up on it and am of the opinion it is the wave of the future.

    Thanks in advance, and nice place you all have here -
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    It seems like anyone with an unused building donates it to a church for tax purposes.
    There are so many small, unproductive churches around in some parts.

    My daughter lives in poverty stricken western PA.
    She lives next door to a small dilapidated Baptist church. I'd guess the congregation size is 10.
    They listen to the preaching from their kitchen table each Sunday morning - and it's not a good thing!
    Just up the hill from them, 200 feet away, another church (Methodist) only slightly more prosperous.

    Rob
     
  3. wordsmyth

    wordsmyth New Member

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    Rob, thanks. And my apologies for being so long getting back to the discussion. Evidently I missed the notification on your reply.

    We have a similar issue in the south, i.e., a "church on every corner."

    Last year I read a piece entitled Mergers: Combining Churches to Multiply Disciples, by Matt Rogers.

    Matt's worked is based on his experience as a church planter and at what became The Church at Cherrydale, located in the suburb of Greenville, SC that is recognized by the Cherrydale name. The Cherrydale church is a merger between the church plant Matt was serving and an established congregation that did not have a pastor. His book is available as a PDF from the SendNetwork, and has since been put into a trade book available at Amazon.

    There are at least nine of the congregations in our local Baptist association that are 3 to 5 years from closing if they cannot find a way to revitalize through a radical shift in their ministry paradigm, or through a merger that combines strengths with another congregation.

    On paper it seems to work out easily enough, but my thought is that "culture" and an historic polity that allows selfishness to outvote biblical principle and common sense will sabotage any hope for most of them. I know many of those congregations from an adult lifetime in this association. They will die of attrition before they take steps in which a few old heads might lose a bit of power or status.
     
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  4. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    #4 Deacon, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  5. wordsmyth

    wordsmyth New Member

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    Whoops - before I head out for the day, a comment on my own comment on revitalization.

    In most places "a change in ministry paradigm" is only one aspect of what needs to happen for revitalization.

    Even before that paradigm change (about the way we view and do ministry), a change of heart will be necessary.

    Essentially, a movement of God in life-changing revival - that we don't hamstring with worn out ministry models and denominational strictures, will be at the heart of the congregations who make it.
     
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  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I just happened to read this article on 9Marks yesterday:
    Anatomy of a Church Merger

    (They have several others I have not read.)
     
  7. CertainSound

    CertainSound New Member
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    Who needs revival when we have "paradigms"?
     
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