Mergers and consolidations are ways companies can combine to add assets, increase market share and overall capacity to services.
The reality is “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:4)
“Nevertheless, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27).
Would you consider a church consolidation and/or merger? Jefferson County, Arkansas’ estimated population is 69,115 with a growth rate of -4.52% or lost 3,270 in the past year according to the most recent United States census data. Jefferson County, Arkansas, is the 11th largest county in Arkansas. The average age is 38.7 overall, 36.5 for male and 40.8 for female. Are your church services reaching these age groups?
The five C’s of credit is a system used by lenders to scale the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. The system weighs five characteristics of the borrower and conditions of the loan to determine approval or decline. Also the system is used to estimate the chance of default and if that is the case the business plan needed to reevaluate. Is it time to reevaluate your efforts?
The five C’s of credit are character, capacity, capital, collateral and conditions. How would your church measure up in (Matt. 25:31-46) kingdom building? “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Character is beloved. Let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. (1 John 1:7). Capital: The median income for households in Pine Bluff, Arkansas is $30,942. The per capita income is $17,222, and 25.8% of families and 32.5% of individuals are below the federal poverty line.
The congregation of believers was one in heart and soul. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they owned. (Acts 4:32). Capacity: Reaching people where they are in life no matter the season should be a focus of the church.
Do you have the staff, space and resources? “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matt. 25:35-36). How many days a week are your doors open?
Collateral: Understanding that it all belongs to God it is not yours, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
So after the church consolidations and mergers, what do you do with the old locations? There are so many possibilities and here just a few: children’s indoor playland, homes, restaurants, entrepreneur’s center, women’s shelters and reentry programs. Conditions: Perilous Times and Perilous People (2 Tim. 3:1-16, 2 Thess. 2:3.)
Anthony A. Armstrong is senior pastor at Unity Christian Fellowship Church at Pine Bluff.
Editor’s note: Pastors or associate pastors interested in writing for this section may submit articles to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry.