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Church Merger Tactic: Expanding Your Church’s Reach with “The Letter Method”

In today’s solo episode, I’m diving deep into a topic close to my heart and crucial for any growing or multi-site church considering expansion: church mergers. This isn’t just another growth strategy; it’s a pivotal approach that could significantly impact how we reach more people and foster an inviting church culture.

The Growing Trend of Church Mergers

Reflecting on the wisdom shared by my good friends Warren Bird and Jim Tomberlin, it’s evident that the landscape of church growth is evolving. The trend towards church campuses being birthed from mergers has spiked dramatically, from 15% to an eye-opening 40% in recent studies. This shift highlights the increasing relevance of mergers in today’s church growth strategy, especially in the post-COVID context.

How Do We Start the Conversation?

The big question on many leaders’ minds is, “How do we even begin to approach the conversation about mergers?” Drawing from my own experiences and the invaluable insights of the late Kristy Rutter, an incredible leader in church mergers, I’ve seen firsthand the power of starting with relationship-building.

The Letter Method

One effective tactic I’ve employed and coached others to use is the “Letter Method.” This involves reaching out to 50 to 100 churches in your target community with a personalized, physical letter. These letters are not just about proposing a merger; they’re about introducing your church, sharing your mission, and most importantly, offering to partner and help. This approach isn’t about acquiring assets but about fostering genuine relationships and exploring how we can collectively serve our communities better.

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Greetings from Sample Community Church! I hope this message finds you and your congregation thriving and filled with peace. My name is [Your Name], and I serve as [Your Position] at Sample Community Church. Today, I reach out to you with a spirit of unity and partnership, inspired by our shared mission to serve and impact our community for Christ.

Introduction to Sample Community Church

Sample Community Church has been a part of [Your City/Community] for [Number of Years], dedicated to creating a welcoming environment where individuals and families can grow in their faith and serve alongside one another. Our mission is to [Briefly Describe Your Church’s Mission], and we’ve witnessed God’s grace as we work towards this vision.

Our Mission and Desire to Partner

As we look to the future, we are guided by a vision to expand our reach and deepen our impact within our community. We believe that through collaboration and shared resources, we can achieve more together than we can separately. It is in this spirit that we reach out to Friends Bible Church, hoping to explore how we might support one another in our respective missions.

Proposal for Partnership

We are keen to understand the needs and opportunities within Friends Bible Church and to discuss any potential for partnership. Whether it’s through shared community projects, resources, or even exploring more formal ways of coming together, we are open to discussions that will mutually benefit our congregations and, more importantly, our community.

Offer of Support

Our approach is one of humility and service, and we extend our hand to offer support in any area you might need. Whether it’s volunteer resources, shared community outreach programs, or simply a listening ear for pastoral exchange and encouragement, we are here for you.

Next Steps

We would be honored to have a conversation with you to discuss any possibilities for collaboration. Please let us know a convenient time for you, and we can arrange a meeting to explore this further. Our goal is to foster a relationship that not only strengthens our churches but also exemplifies the unity and love of Christ to our community.

Thank you for considering this invitation. We look forward to the possibility of serving together and making a greater impact in the name of Jesus Christ.


[Your Full Name]
[Your Position]
Sample Community Church
[Contact Information]

Building Meaningful Relationships

At the heart of successful church mergers is the spirit of collaboration and support. It’s crucial to approach these potential partnerships not with a mindset of what we can gain, but how we can help. Through dropping in on church leaders, engaging in meaningful conversations, and remaining genuinely curious about how we can support each other, we pave the way for more than just mergers; we open doors to transformative partnerships that can amplify our impact on the community and the Kingdom at large.

A Call to Action

For those of you leading churches, whether you’re already multi-site or contemplating your first expansion, the journey towards a successful merger begins with a step of faith and a commitment to genuine partnership. It’s about more than just growth; it’s about unity, support, and the shared mission of spreading the Gospel.

I encourage you to consider how the Letter Method might open new doors for your church. If you’re intrigued or even ready to take the first step, check out the link below in our show notes for a sample letter template that you can tailor to your context. This isn’t just about starting conversations; it’s about fostering relationships that could lead to impactful, Kingdom-focused mergers.

Thanks so much for tuning in. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s make this journey together, one step at a time. Take care, friends.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.