We know that the first year of any relationship is a transition period and that brings a need for commitment to learn, compromise, and adapt. Merging congregations must commit to these three steps. Holy Cow! Consulting has created a map for these steps and we have integrated our tools to help bring congregations clarity as they go through this process. This process is called Emerge© for Merging Congregations. The word emerge means to come forth or arise. Perhaps more profoundly emerge is a verb, it is movement. It is the act of arising.
Emerge takes the form of the three levels of commitment
STEP ONE: Discernment – The Stage of Learning
What happens: In this phase, merging congregations are determining what kind of relationship they will have with each other. Congregations will have to determine whether to merge, who will be in leadership, the applicable doctrine, etc. Goals will need to be set for the first year after merging with clear follow-up and deadlines.
Tools needed: Each congregation will take the Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT)® with a merging congregations module. This tool will show where each congregation is in terms of energy and satisfaction, what their drivers are for vitality and the culture of each congregation. It will also show how folks feel about the merging, if they feel that the leadership is adequately communicating, and where they believe energy should be placed as the merger moves forward. The CAT results for each congregation will be run separately and then combined to show, if merged, what the new merged congregation would look like in all of the areas the CAT measures.
Application: Holy Cow! Consulting will run a transition report to help determine identity/direction, remedial issues, administrative needs/issues, opportunities and vulnerabilities, and trust in current leadership. We have a network of trusted and experienced consultants who can help congregations walk through this discernment process where needed
STEP TWO: Transition – The Stage of Compromise and Adaptation
What happens: Six months after the merger, congregational leadership (clergy, staff and governing body) needs to look at how they feel about the effectiveness of their leadership at this point in the merging process.
Tools needed: The leadership will take Focal Points™ which strategically evaluates the leadership team’s core functions, satisfaction, energy, effectiveness, strengths, and areas for further development.
Application: Next steps will be designed from the Focal Points report so the leadership can continue moving forward during this transition period
STEP THREE: Resolution – The Stage of Emerging
What happens: One year after the merger the congregation will need to assess final steps to solidify the merger and any needed follow-through.
- The Leadership Clarity Check™, a simple, ten question survey, which will help your leaders evaluate how clearly they perceive the climate of the church they lead.
- The Pulse™, for a staff of 7 or more paid part-time or full-time staff members, which provides clear, reliable information on the health and trajectory of a staff that can be useful in team building, staff development, conflict management, and strategic planning.
- The Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT) for the one merged congregation with a strategic planning module. This will show the energy and satisfaction levels, the culture of the merged congregations, the drivers, and areas of performance, as well as whether folks are ready for a new vision and mission. A comparative analysis of the first combined CAT at the beginning of the process and this CAT will be run.
Application: Holy Cow! Consulting has a network of trusted and experienced consultants who can help congregations with any remaining issues or new issues that have become apparent through the data.