Last week, the day Better Together came off the press, I was meeting with a pastor who said, “The strangest thing happened yesterday,” and told me of another pastor he had known for years coming to him and asking, “Could we merge with your church?” I pulled out a hot-off-the-press copy of the book and handed it to him. Below is a description of that book from one of the many reviews coming out. Please take a look, because you never know if God has a merger in your future. – Warren Bird.
Review by DAVE PATCHIN from his blog CHURCHAccomplished.
Like chocolate and peanut butter or “Peaches & Herb,” some things are better together. That’s the premise of a new church leadership book released today by Leadership Network and Josey Bass.
Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work, by Jim Tomberlin and Warren Bird, went on sale recently and is the first book on church mergers, and unlike most “first” books, it’s insightful and practical. It is a must read for any church leader in a church that has struggled to find adequate facilities to expand, is passionate about a particular community where they do not have connection, or for those leading churches that are stuck or struggling.
The book does an excellent job of identifying the kind of churches that would be a good fit for a merger, which upon examination, is nearly all. It also identifies that in most mergers there is a “lead church” and a “joining church” that often is struggling or stuck and looking for an infusion of life. As well it provides helpful categories on how to think through mergers (rebirth, adoption, marriage, icu).
But beyond the theoretical categories, Better Together is an intensely practical resource. Bird and Tomberlin cover things like legal questions and how to start a merger conversation with other church leaders. They provide dozens of examples and in depth discussion of a few mergers in each category to give you a sense of how mergers progress and are derailed. There are appendices with research, examples, checklists, faq’s, categories to examine for fit as well as a list of churches used as examples.
If your church has been stuck or struggling, or is trying to find a way to expand your kingdom impact, this book will expand your thinking and help you move into the process with passion and practicality. You may discover your church is Better Together.
Dave Patchin is a Christ follower who has spent the past 25 years working with leaders in a large student ministry and a large local church.