Recently Leadership Network reported on a new way that God is working with his churches. It’s called adoption. When someone uses this language, we commonly think of a merger. In the past when someone inquires about merging churches, I usually respond in the negative. Merging two struggling churches usually results in one slightly larger struggling church. Merging churches often includes their sharing leadership, pastors, board members. Each is allowed so many “slots” in the new merged church. However, adoption is different. A larger healthy church adopts a smaller struggling church. The latter joins the former with no guarantees.
What might be the implications for church planting? Should a church plant consider adopting struggling churches in its community on its terms? The thinking here is the church plant would be the healthy church that embraces over time the struggling churches. The struggling churches would be disbanded and people would be encouraged to become a part of the church plant with no guarantees of a position in the new church. They would also sign over or sell their facilities and give them to the planted church. That would help supply needed income and/or a place to meet.
What do you think about this new trend?