Monday Morning Insights

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    Intriguing Prediction:  MegaChurch Merger in 2010

    Intriguing Prediction:  MegaChurch Merger in 2010

    My friend, Brad Lomenick, made an interesting prediction on his blog this morning.  Brad predicts that in 2010 a major merger will happen between two large successful megachurches, and usher in a new trend of collaboration and partnership...

    That's a great prediction.  Do you think it would/could happen?

    If it did, would it be a good thing?

    And if it did, what two megachurches would you like to see merge?



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    1. Peter Hamm on Mon, January 11, 2010

      Many of these churches are successful because of a “level 5 leader”, as Jim Collins would say. Are some of those the kinds of people that could see past their own agenda and collaborate with another great leader? I’m thinkin’ yes.

      Is it a good idea? Hmmmmm… Not as sure…

    2. GR Guy on Mon, January 11, 2010

      What would be the greater benefit or purpose to a mega merger?  What would be the motivational cause?  I don’t see it. 

      Churches can already collaborate without having to merge.  If they are already mega churches, will merging really gain them additional resources that they don’t already have? 

      Plus, getting one mega church to agree to be taken over by another mega church doesn’t seem likely.

    3. Rick on Mon, January 11, 2010

      Strange thought.  It seems like Willow esseentially tried the mega-leader collaboration aspect of this idea by bringing in Gene Apple, Randy Frazee and Mike Breaux under the same roof w/ Hybels.  If I remember correctly, it wasn’t that long before they each left.  I’m sure their individual reasons were sound, but the fact that their stays were short might be instructive, here.

    4. CHP on Mon, January 11, 2010

      If a few mulit-site mega churches merge, is this really any different than a denomination?

    5. Jerald Sheets on Mon, January 11, 2010

      I find it hard to understand the need for the megachurch itself.  The real pastoring and shepherding takes place in the small groups, so why not just have 50 small groups in a loosely-associated collaboration rather than trying to clump it all together?

      More people can do more in their community at the point of need than a huge organization trying to look around and cherry-pick for those needs.

    6. Peter Hamm on Mon, January 11, 2010

      Jerald writes [More people can do more in their community at the point of need than a huge organization trying to look around and cherry-pick for those needs.]

      Being a pastor in a church that is the biggest in my town (one out of every 15 or so attend here) I can tell you that a big organization can do huge things for those in need. We do. I have to say, in my experience, your statement quoted above is just not true.

    7. Roger on Mon, January 11, 2010

      I am thinking it would be of greater value to plant some other churches getting access to great churches and the gospel closer to where people live.  Just don’t see the value of merging mega churches.  There is sometime value in merging two smaller churches to give strength, but even that is touchy.  We need churches solidly Biblical in theology but different in style, structure, etc. to meet everyone where they are in life.  Just my thoughts.  That and five bucks will get you a Starbucks.

    8. Jerald Sheets on Mon, January 11, 2010

      I understand what you’re trying to say, Peter, and certainly I do not dispute the resources available to the “mega-church”.  It is my understanding that in the context of the article above, we’re talking thousands upon thousands of people.

      One of the only methods available to truly pastor that many people is the vital small group.  You as pastor cannot individually pastor, say… 6,000 people.  You can marshall the troops.  You can put programs in place.  However, at the end of the day, the one-on-one ministry… the personal, deep relationships happen at the size of the small group.  In a small group of 15 people, they will have individual interactions and encounters with many people the church will never see within it’s doors and will never touch in the community except maybe tangentially.

      The (to quote a phrase) “power encounters” happen one-on-one, in the community doing the works of Jesus, healing the oppressed, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless.  Preaching alone and mega-services alone cannot accomplish this feat, but the small groups going out and individually shaking Satan’s Kingdom, that’s what changes lives.

      Certainly, the “mega-church” has the resources to organize and empower (financially) these small groups, but it’s not necessary.  Jesus sent the 70 without so much as money or a sack to hold anything in and they turned the world upside down.

      The “mega-church” is greatly appreciated and valued, it is just not necessary for God to do His will in the Earth.

      (excellent picture, btw)

    9. CS on Mon, January 11, 2010

      One word: Willowback.  Or SaddleCreek.  Your choice.


    10. Kirk Longhofer on Mon, January 11, 2010

      I predict that 1st Baptist and 2nd Baptist in Houston will merge, to create a new entity that will be called 1/2 Baptist. They will experience HUGE growth as Presbyterians and Methodists flock there, assuming that it’s part of their denomination.

    11. Jerald Sheets on Mon, January 11, 2010

      Kirk:  LOL!

    12. josh r on Mon, January 11, 2010

      I can certainly see Mars Hill Seattle doing this..  It is well within their strategy, they have already absorbed a smaller congregation in Albuquerque..  (Making it one of their ‘Campuses”)

      Not sure I really buy the strategy, but I am sure some good will come of it.

    13. Dusty Wilson on Mon, January 11, 2010

      Wasn’t it Christ’s desire to see a unified church to begin with? Seems like a novel idea to me. The merging of two mega churches, in my humble opinion, would only benefit the transactional side of ministry. That may be an answer for them economically. But what mega church is suffering in these economics? The truth is the transformational thing to do would be to already join in unity the power, resources, ministry and such to become the church that He has always wanted us to be. Let the mega church merge with 10 churches running 100 or less.  Build them up. Support a pastor for a year. Train him for free. Help finance their ministries, debts and bills for a year. Release them again to do ministry. Why do we need another mega church?  Is it for the sake of having a mega church or do we need to focus on transforming what we already have to become a mega movement for the sake of the Kingdom of God in the last days.

    14. Rick on Mon, January 11, 2010

      @Josh r:

      The Mars Hill example does not relate to the prediction.  The church in ABQ was/is a good church…but it wasn’t a mega-church.

    15. David on Mon, January 11, 2010

      I hope more churches start to merge.  I wonder if the pride of the leaders will allow this to happen?  It would be a sweet trend if it happens.

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