Updated: Dec 9, 2020
William Bridges writes in Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, “Before you can begin something new, you have to end what used to be. Before you can learn a new way of doing things, you have to unlearn the old way. Before you can become a different kind of person (church), you must let go of your old identity.”
36. Pray for the new name of the new church.
“Never again will you be called ‘The Forsaken City’ or ‘The Desolate Land.’ Your new name will be ‘The City of God’s Delight’ and ‘The Bride of God,’ for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride.”
The new name of the new church reflects the values of the church as they try to reach unchurched people in the community.
• Pray for clarity among the merger team as they discern the values of the new congregation.
• Pray for unity in the church as they choose a new name.
• Pray for a church name that will attract the people of the community in a meaningful way.
37. Pray for the new church’s leadership.
“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.”
God used Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, out of the past way of life. Moses led the people through the wilderness to the edge of the Promised Land. But God used Joshua to lead the people into the Promised Land and a new way of life. God will use a new leadership team to lead the church after the Vital Merger.
• Pray for the Bishop and Cabinet as they discern the best pastor for our church.
• Pray for the openness of the leaders to the new opportunities for our church.
• Give thanks for current leaders and pastors who will are instrumental in moving the church forward.
• Pray for a smooth transition for the new leadership team and pastor for our church.
38. Pray that the buildings would sell in a timely manner.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
One of the drains of a Vital Merger is the delay in the sale of the church buildings. The sale is needed to provide funding of a new building, as well as to avoid the financial drain of upkeep and utilities spend on unsold buildings.
• Pray for a rapid sale of the buildings.
• Pray for buyers that have a positive vision for the building that will benefit the community.
• Pray for the members as they grieve and remember the life-changing events that have taken place in the building.
39. Pray for the Merger Team as they identify the right location.
“I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him. . ..”
2 Chron 2:4
The location, as well as the building must reflect the vision and values of the new church. It must fit the ministry and needs of the future. The new location might be an already existing building, a new building, or a rented facility.
• Pray for the Merger Team that they would have a clear vision of all God’s wants to accomplish in and through the new ministry.
• Pray for the congregation to have patience as the Merger Team seeks to discern the space needs for the new ministry.
• Pray for the finances to meet the costs of a new location or renovating an existing location.
40. Pray for a great celebration as the churches come together as one.
“Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?”
2 Cor 3:8
The merger celebration should symbolize the beginning of a new future for the new church. It is a time of bringing together those churches that have spent months - or years - visioning, planning, and working to make this new church a reality.
• Pray for the church members as they celebrate new life together.
• Pray for great unity and joy to be present in the new church.
• Pray that the people would integrate and form one, united faith community.
How can you continue to pray for a smooth transition for your church?