From MultiSite Solutions
The next big thing?
By Jim Tomberlin
According to Leadership Network research, 2 percent of U.S. Protestant churches have been part of a merger in the last two years. Another 8 percent say they will probably merge in the next two years. Those two groups represent 30,000 churches. Similar trends among churches in Canada, Europe, Australia and other places where churches have been long established. This data is congruent with my own observations where I have experienced a surge of requests for merger consulting in the past year.
There are three reasons why church mergers are on the rise.
No doubt, the multisite strategy has contributed to this trend with one out of three multisite campuses being the result of a church merger, but it goes beyond just multi-siting. The economic recession had forced a lot of churches to reassess their long-term viability. Under prosperous times many churches were propped up by artificial life-support which no longer exists for many of them. More significantly, other churches are seeing the synergistic benefits of joining with like-minded churches and a similar mission for greater Kingdom impact.
These mergers are mission-driven rather than the old survival-driven mergers of the past. The math of the old merger paradigm was 1+1 = 1 at best, or 1+1 = 0 at worst. The new math for church mergers today is 1+1 = 3+. Synergy!
I believe church mergers are a more significant development than the multisite movement and will even outgrow it.
Because of this developing church merger trend, I have teamed up with Warren Bird at Leadership Network to research this growing phenomenon. We suspect God is up to something, but we’ll capture and describe it best only with your help. If you are involved in a Protestant church in North America, then we want to know what you think. We have created a survey for churches that have merged or see merger in their future. Even if you don’t have a merger experience we would love to hear from you.
Would you assist us in this important research by taking a few minutes to complete this survey? Please take a look at this survey and give us your thoughts at:
Everyone who participates can get a free report from what we learn and we’ll enter you in a contest to win one of five $20 gift cards.
Is there a church merger in your past? Let us know; we would love to hear your story.
If you’re considering a merger we can help. Contact us.
Be fruitful and multiply,
Jim Tomberlin is a consultant and coach helping churches to develop and implement multi-campus strategies. [www.multisitesolutions.com]