Topic: Merging Churches...

So, my church - is planning on merging with another local church in the area.

The plan I suppose is to sell both buildings, and buy another building for us to meet in - even though our current has more than enough space for both congregations to meet in. Seems odd.

Anyway, I've really been struggling with this idea for some reason. The church that wants to merge with us seems like it would be taking a lot of the control - implementing their ministries, programs, staff, etc. We'd have both pastors, both secretaries, and their Youth Pastor because our church lost their Youth Pastor to another job.

In a way, I can see it as an answer to our situations. More people, more staff, probably more money to help with finances too.

Yet too, my heart feels sort of torn about the idea of merging churches. It feels like it's starting a new church completely, and almost makes me want to go to a new church completely, rather than be involved with all the work that it's going to take to transition. I imagine a lot of roles are going to be duplicated - and if there too many people on both sides, then some people would be sifted out.

Idk really - seems like a lot of work that I just don't feel like for some reason.

Have any of you been part of or seen church mergers?

Could maybe use some prayer that some bitter feelings towards this might go away.

Re: Merging Churches...

Robert Adams,  Sometimes people take things out of perspective!  I go to a local congregation of the *LORD*s church in Shallotte,  NC.  People find it odd and even question us by asking *What Denomination are you or  belong to?*  The only answer that I have to give them is that I belong to the *CHURCH* that belongs to *CHRIST* keeping in mind that *CHRIST* paid for *HIS* church in *HIS* blood and by *HIS* body given upon the cross for us!

Also keeping in mind that anyone who has been obedient to the *Gospel of *CHRIST*;  has been added to *HIS* *SPIRITURAL* body (the church)!

Ac 2:38 - Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

And then in  Ac 2:47 - Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

These people were added to *THE* church as the *LORD* added them and adds us;  and as the book of Acts gives some examples of the early beginnings of the *LORD*s church!

Unity is always a good thing in the *CHRIST*-ian body (the church)!   We have people who visit from the other side of the country and we let them perform their duties such as helping with the communion (keeping in mind that they have shown themselves to be sincere *CHRIST*-ians and have visited us before)!  They should be proven first as to whether they are a *CHRIST*-ian or not!  As this is scriptural!

And you will find that if these people you are merging with are devoted *CHRIST*-ians (key-word);  they will be humble enough in their service to the *LORD* and very willing to work (and again humbly) with you all for the better good of all and together as a body with you all to do the work that *GOD* has set forth for us to do!

However if they are not worshipping the *LORD* in *SPIRIT* and in *TRUTH*;  it can cause serious problems for the congregation!  You should know enough about them before embarking on any merging so any incoming leaven so to speak will not come in and tear the church apart!

It however will be great for you all if they have hearts for serving the *LORD* and the community!   Divisions are not to be in a scripturally run congregation!  And if everything is scriptural;  the church body will be blessed to have more helping to lighten your load some in service to *GOD*!

The building;  I tend to agree with you about it;  if you have sufficient space and good classrooms!  But people are people and I like a blue car while someone else may like a red one!  The main focus should be about serving *GOD* as thus saith the *LORD* according to *HIS* scripture and buildings are here today and will be gone tomorrow!

Our souls and the souls that we can guide along the way should always outweigh any materialism (buildings etc.) and I would not let that bother me too bad as long as the church is being edified and growing the community into the knowledge and nourishment of *CHRIST*-ianity!  I hope that this helps you!  Have a great week and I'll keep you all in prayer!
                                           As for me and my house we will serve the *LORD*!

Re: Merging Churches...

Hey Robert,

Our church has been in the process of adopting a local church in our town for the past year.  And while not every single thing has been smooth overall the entire process has been an absolute joy to be a part of and I can really see God's hand in it.

I was on the leadership team when this was proposed to us over a year ago by the other church.  We didn't say no, but we didn't say yes right away either.  There seemed to be so many obstacles including a lot of the ones you mentioned that deal with people and personal and ministries.

In December of 2008 the leadership team of the other church wrote a letter to our church in which they expressed the need to come underneath us and join our ministry.  You have to understand that this church has been in the community for over 150 years and our church is only 4 years old yet they recognized that they were not being effective in spreading the gospel and needed help.

A couple specific things in their letter really impacted me: First they expressed that they as a church of over 150 years were the weaker brother to a church of 4 years and that they needed to be humble and let us take the lead.  I had tears in my eyes when I heard that read because who am I to receive such humility?

And that has been the whole key to this thing working - humility.  And not just on their end, it had to be on our end as well.  We had people coming in that duplicated some of the ministry positions already in place but humbly, people stepped down.  As a leadership team we made sure to reinforce to the people that the only way this would work is if we were all humble.

So, I would say to you the thing you need to do first is to check your heart with God and ask: "Have I been humble throughout this process?"  If you have, that's awesome - do your best to spread this message to others.

I'll be praying for you and your church as soon as I hit submit!

Living the Adventure - 1 John 1:7 /