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MultiSightings Blog

Church Mergers Are Increasing!

September 30, 2019

In 2009 I received a call from Warren Bird, the Research Director at Leadership Network. . .

“Jim, are you seeing any mergers in your multisite church consulting?”

“Yes I am. A lot of them!”

“So are we at Leadership Network. God is doing something different through mergers today. We need to write a book about it.”

In partnership with Leadership Network, we commissioned the Barna Group to learn more by surveying churches who had gone through a merger in the past 20 years.

In 2011 we published our results and observations in the first book ever to be written on church mergers, Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work.

We discovered that these new kinds of mission-driven mergers were different than the survival-based mergers of the past. We also observed that many of these mergers were an unintended but mutually-beneficial consequence of the multisite church movement.

Since then we have seen an explosion of all kinds of church mergers beyond multisite outcomes. More church leaders are seeing mergers as a pastor-search strategy, succession strategy, church-plant strategy, community transformation strategy and denominationally-driven revitalization and replant strategies.

A decade later with a seismic culture shift in church attendance and changing attitudes towards local churches it’s time to do another nation-wide, comprehensive survey.

An updated survey

In partnership with Leadership Network, The Unstuck Group and Fortress Press we have launched another survey on church mergers to capture the latest trends in these new developments.

If your church has experienced a merger or unsuccessfully attempted a merger in the past 20 years, would you take twenty minutes to complete the Church Merger Survey?


After taking the Church Merger Survey would you forward it to others who have a church merger experience?

And in other exciting news

MultiSite Solutions has begun a formal transition to join Tony Morgan and The Unstuck Group as part of a two-year merger-succession. We are convinced we can better serve local churches together!

Starting in November, my new content will be featured on rather than here on this blog, and included in The Unstuck Group’s monthly multisite email newsletter.

Get those by opting in to The Unstuck Group’s Multisite email subscription.

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"Jim Tomberlin was a huge asset to us during our recent move to multisite. His experience and expertise helped us navigate our staff and church through a church merger and greatly assisted us in the union of two churches. I highly recommend Jim to anyone prayerfully considering either mergers or multisite churches."

Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church

"Jim came along side Celebration Church from the very beginning of our multi-site journey. His insight, strategy, and understanding of what it takes to be a healthy church was huge to us as we began this new journey. Since partnering with Jim, we’ve gone from one church meeting in a single location, to five campuses meeting throughout Wisconsin."


"Not only did he bring a depth of knowledge, insight and wisdom but he also helped to bring clarity to our strategy which will keep us healthy and growing well into the future. Jim brought to our team a pastor’s heart with a strategist’s mind for how to understand church growth through multisites."


"Jim is one of the country’s leading thinkers on the multi-site movement."

Craig Groeschel – Lead Pastor

"If you’re planning to go multisite and want someone to walk you through implementing your strategy successfully you’ll want to connect with Jim…you won’t be disappointed."

Community Christian Church
Dave Ferguson – Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL

"He is a veteran leader, who is able to combine a wealth of knowledge with an intuitive grasp of the needs of the local pastor."

The Chapel
Scott Chapman – The Chapel, Lake Country, IL

"If your church is thinking about going multisite make sure you have Jim on your team."

Sagebrush Church
Todd Cook – Sagebush Community Church – Alberquerque, New Mexico
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