Merging of churches: Families and staff can learn about their new leadership and each other

Church mergers happen for a variety of reasons. Perhaps a small congregation is outgrowing its space and wants to merge with an organization that has a larger building. Perhaps a merger helps extend the generational gap to help ensure the future of both congregations. Perhaps membership is up or down, and a merger just makes sense.

No matter the reason, if your church is merging with another in the future, it's a lengthy process full of change. It's certainly an exciting time with plenty of considerations, but one area of concern that weighs heavy on leadership's shoulders is how current members will blend with new members to create a vibrant culture that represents all.

Eliminate us vs. them

You are coming together as one, but it can be easy for members to continue to think of the community as two separate groups. It's important to communicate that while change may not be instantaneous, the more the church community embraces that they are all one family, the better. This could be a great topic for the initial sermon, and you may even make signing an official church covenant document noting the church merger during the commencement service.

Get a new directory

Big events bring big changes. When two churches merge, plan a free photography and directory event with Lifetouch Church Photography to update your directory and showcase your unity as one community. You'll get printed and mobile directories at no cost, which is a useful resource for everyone getting to know each other. What's more, directory events are a lot of fun, and as families attend their photography session times, they'll experience fellowship with other families and get to know each other better.

Celebrate milestones together

Merging two churches is worthy of celebration! Host an all-church event to invite everyone to enjoy time together. You can make the event as big or small as you like, but some options to consider may include an afternoon barbecue, a family carnival, a music event with dancing and food, or a brunch. Remember to take lots of video and photography to document this special time in the church's history.

One thing to keep in mind is celebrating milestones in each church's history. Now that you are one, their milestones are yours and vice versa. So, for example, if the church merged with yours has a big 75th anniversary, it would be warrant a celebration because that history is part of your community now. This helps honor the past while recognizing the future.

When churches move, it's a change that takes time. These three steps will help encourage all members to become one and look to the future, for the best is yet to come!