Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work: Expanded and Updated

by Warren Bird, Jim Tomberlin. Fortress Press, August 4, 2020.


This book describes the range of mergers for strong, stable, stuck, and struggling churches. No matter what type of merger a church may be considering, the authors address key questions about the process. Congregations that are praying about mergers will find case studies and ideas that will support the discernment process related to merging or not.


data about church mergers; answers some questions about the merging process; mentions some pitfalls to avoid; how "better together" can lead to more, rather than fewer reproducing churches; do's and don'ts to consider

Recommended Audience

The book has Lutheran roots but is applicable to almost any congregation in the Protestant tradtion.


Purchase as a book or e-book

Practical Applications

  • Read with board members or congregational leaders during the early consideration of a church merger.

About the Contributor

Tim Shapiro

Tim Shapiro is the Indianapolis Center’s president. He began serving the Center in 2003 after 18 years in pastoral ministry. For 14 years, Tim served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. Prior to his pastorate at Westminster, he was pastor of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Logansport, Indiana. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Tim’s interest in how congregations learn to do new things is represented in his book How Your Congregation LearnsAfter his extensive work on the Center’s Sacred Space initiative, Tim co-authored the book Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and MessageHe has also authored several articles, including Applying Positive Deviance and The Congregation of Theological Coherence.

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