Principles for Leaders to Keep in Mind in Merging Congregations

by Alice Mann. Alban at Duke Divinity School, April 24, 2015. Accessed November 30, 2017.
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Alice Mann, former senior consultant at the Alban Institute, distills eight principles of a successful church merger from the account of one {{United Methodist merger |}}. She encourages church leadership to prepare themselves spiritually with prayer and openness to many different potential outcomes of the discernment process, to gather and face the facts confronting the congregations, to consider multiple options for next steps, to follow a clear and open process, to act promptly once decisions are made, to mark endings, to expect symptoms of bereavement in the congregations, and not to take struggles and controversies in the merger process personally. Her exploration of these principles provides an excellent guidebook to the internal spiritual and interpersonal landscape clergy and lay leaders must navigate in the church merger process, relevant to any denominational or independent church.