BP -- Longtime pastor Jack Stallings determined years ago to empathetically view life from the eyes of a black Christian, a feat he says he hasn't quite achieved, being he's white. Retired pastor Jack Stallings, at podium, spoke when Robert Lee, standing at right, was installed as senior pastor of Collinswood Agape Baptist Church, a merger of congregations Stallings and Lee previously led separately in Portsmouth, Va. Would Lee, who had led the majority black Fairwood Agape Baptist Church since , consider pastoring a merger of the two congregations?
I'm thankful to Rev. Lee for his part in it, and I'm thankful for the attitude" of the congregations. Both congregations voted to merge, and the new church family has worshipped as one since May on the campus of the former Collinswood Baptist at City Park Ave. Part of it," he told BP, "was the fact that we had an opportunity to go to a better building" and also a new community to evangelize.
There were 1, rental homes that were demolished back in , the same year I became pastor," Lee said. In the meantime, the church had no running water, was a half-mile from the nearest city water line, and relied on well water to operate bathroom facilities. Bottled water was used otherwise.
Many churches across America have attempted mergers.
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Many churches will justify a merger for financial reasons, others seem to view it as having a way to increase the number of workers, and some will boldly state that two churches can join together in order to show unity to others in the community, and to provide a greater thrust for evangelism. If the truth be known, most mergers are unsuccessful due to a lack of planning and communication.
There are a number of considerations that needed to be examined before action is taken. Pastoral Care, inc. If your church is thinking about merging with another church, a great deal of prayer and planning are needed before any final decisions are made. We have an excellent outline for your consideration.
It can be easily downloaded below. Again, few mergers have been successful.
1. Preliminary Negotiations
And I said, I am. And he said, we are too at leadership network. Jim: And so we published this book Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work, and we wrote that to be a guide for churches to understand this as a viable option to help. One way to get unstuck is to join a growing church.
What We Learned From a Failed Church Merger | CT Pastors | Christianity Today
And how do you do that? How do you have a successful outcome? But we also have seen over the years now mistakes that churches have made. So back to your original question, what are those mistakes?
P 132 Church Merger: When Two Become One
The first word it has to do with relationships, the relationship, then the mission, the focus, control, communication and the grief process. So let me unpack those six issues. The first one is, the first mistake to make is not defining the relationship, you know, that DTR, define the relationship. Jim: Every merger, and every merger is unique. Tony: But even in that situation, one of those churches has to take the lead. And then a sort of in between a merger and a rebirth.
I mean a marriage and a rebirth is a adoption merger. And then the fourth one is what we call the ICU mergers, which is the typical ones of the past, which were two struggling churches as a last gasp effort to try to, you know, survive. But anyways, so define the relationship is an important first step in a merger. The second thing is mission clarity.
go The more clarity that the lead church has about what our mission is, what our vision, what our strategy is, the more clarity around that, the easier it will be to determine whether we should even entertain this merger possibility. And so we want to join your church so that you can make sure we can continue to have services on Sunday. Jim: Focus, are you focusing, when are we talking about that is, are you looking backward or are you looking forward?
The other issue is control.
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