“Leaders never ask participating congregations to commit to merger. They ask faithful Christians to commit to a large, bolder Biblical vision.” Mergers are often last-ditch efforts by dying congregations to jump-start their mission and ministry. More often than not, these efforts only postpone decline. In Vital Merger, pastor and merger veteran, Elliott, describes a proven model that looks more like a new church start. In this approach, two or more congregations join in a new location under a new name and new pastoral leadership. He likens the process to courtship and marriage, offering a step-by-step guide from acquaintance to commitment. Twelve chapters describe the steps, illustrated with stories from real-life mergers. The Appendix includes a Vital Merger check list, document templates and a discernment guide on the essential characteristics of a Vital Merger pastor. Aimed at Mainline congregations, this book provides leaders with a creative and effective approach to revitalization.