What’s Up with Pastor Todd 1-29-21

What’s Up with Pastor Todd 1-29-21

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column on different models of consolidation. For review, they were: assimilation, satellite, merger/restart, and “ICU.” If the goal of consolidation is to move from a decline trajectory to a growth trajectory, then the satellite and restart models offer the best possibilities. Satellite requires that a growing church “adopt” a declining church and redevelop it as a satellite location. Restart requires that two or more churches relinquish their prior identities in order to merge assets and create a new congregation.

Since that column I’ve done a little more digging for real world examples of some of these models. Below are a few examples and resources for further investigation.

Our Vitality Coach Rev. Paul Nickerson worked with three United Methodist churches that used the Restart model to create Lorrain Lighthouse UMC at a new location. The pastor who took them through this process is now retired but Paul assures me that if we inquire there are some church leaders who could share their experience.  Their Web address is https://www.lorainlighthouseumc.com.

Paul also directed me to a United Methodist District Superintendent in West Virginia for information about a three church creative merger that she oversaw. I’ve sent an email and will let you know when I find out more details.

An example of a Satellite/Adoption model consolidation from the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church is Garfield Memorial UMC, which adopted South Euclid UMC. The pastor of Garfield Memorial is Rev. Chip Freed (chip@garfieldchurch.org). 

Learning from others’ experiences can be helpful for making informed decisions. Check out the Websites and let me know if there’s interest in setting up a call with any of these congregations. We’re not in this alone. Other congregations are successfully navigating transitions and coming out on the other side with a new lease on life!

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