In business, when companies merge, they typically eliminate redundancies. This usually comes in the forms of lay-offs and demotions. The people from the weaker company become victims to save money. That’s capitalism.
It is very rare to hear of church mergers, though. More commonly, we hear about church splits, which can be even worse than a corporate merger.
The Christian Post ran an article last week about two churches in Arizona that are merging together. They seem to be taking Captain Planet’s motto – “by your powers combined” – to a whole new level. Audrey Barrick writes, “Church mergers mostly involve one healthy church saving a dying one. But in Arizona, two growing congregations are coming together for the purpose of creating a greater impact.”
It’s actually a pretty cool story. Both churches are growing and preaching a Christ-centered message, and they chose to team up to have an even greater impact on their community. Tom Shrader, pastor at the East Valley Bible Church in Gilbert, AZ, said, “We wanted to be an influence beyond the campus.”
For some reason, this encourages me. Until I left for college, I went to the same church my entire life. Throughout those eighteen years, I grew to become very comfortable in my pew, beliefs, and traditions. It’s easy to be comfortable, and I like how the pastors from these two churches have decided to go beyond their comfort zones to join forces.
If I were a member at one of these churches, my first reaction to this news probably would not have been very positive. However, as an outsider to the news, I see how these two churches becoming one can serve the community in a great way.
The new church, Redemption Church, it set to have it’s first service on January 9, 2011.
How would you feel to be a part of a church that decided to merge with another?