Church Collaboration

 How Churches Can Work Together for Mission

Collaboration Resources

Resources for Blending  (Merger/Consolidation/Absorption)

In 1996 Pastor Bob Hoyt prepared a guide titled "Blending Ministries (Merger or Consolidation) of Congregations of the ELCA". In 2007 this booklet was updated by the Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Unit of the ELCA and is available from that Unit. The updated title is "Together in Mission:  The Blending of Ministries through Merger or Consolidation."

The United Presbyterian Church has a guide titled "And the Two Shall Become One, A Resource on Church Mergers" by Dr. Mariko Yanagihara. This booklet includes some information on multicultural mergers. Robert Gallagher from the Church Development Institute provides a helpful  Episcopal perspective in his discussion of "Mergers and Organizational Culture". Trent Brown adds an evangelical point of view in his concise blog on "Church Mergers in The Missional Community".

Alban Institute recently published an article, "And Two Shall Become One," by Luann Yarrow. This article is a good outline of the church merger process. Alice Mann and Robert Leventhal, senior  consultants with the Alban Institute, authored a very helpful article titled "Effective, Mission-Oriented Synagogue Mergers." This article demonstrates how judicatories can help congregations see the options open to them and guide the early merger discussions. (Thanks to Alice Mann for sharing this article with the site.)

Fans of Easum Bandy can read Tom Bandy's "Top Ten Things You See in a Church Merger". Kevin McCord has a great blog entry about two former First Baptist churches in Florida titled "Old Churches Can Change!"  You can read the anti-merger view in David Smith's blog about "Small Church Strong". A Presbyterian journal recently published a challenging article on "Church Energy Conservation" that advocates for both consolidation and shared campus solutions.

ChurchFuture developed web sites that trace the process of two consolidations. These sites, and include the meeting notes, materials, and discussions that led to those consolidations.

Resources for Other Collaborations

The Leadership Network has a very informative 13-page booklet titled, "Church-to-Church Collaborations on the Rise". Among other examples, this booklet includes a more detailed description of Ascent, which is referenced on the Parish Model page, and the Golden Family of Churches Health Ministries referenced on the Service Organization page.

The Center for Faith in Communities has how-to resources and even some funding for congregations that want to work for mercy and justice among the poor. The organization has funding available for faith-based organizations that collaborate with entities outside the faith community.

The United Way of Greater Milwaukee has a 27 page booklet titled "Nonprofit Collaboration & Mergers:  Finding the Right Fit", with lots of helpful advice.  An Alban Institute book, Inside the Small Church, includes an excellent chapter on Ecumenical Shared Ministry.

These resources can be downloaded from this site by clicking on the link.

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