Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

Note From Dan: I’d like to introduce you to my long-time friend Jim Tomberlin. He’s one of the sharpest leaders I know and has written a guest post for us today on church mergers.

Jim pastored a church in Germany, grew a megachurch in Colorado and pioneered the multisite strategy for Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago (2000-2005).

He then founded MultiSite Solutions and has served hundreds of churches grow stronger through intensive multisite and church merger consultation.
In 2019 Jim merged MultiSite Solutions with Tony Morgan and The Unstuck Group to expand its capacity to assist more churches.

Home base is Colorado Springs, but Jim spends half his time serving as the Chief of Staff at Christ Fellowship in Miami, Florida. Jim and his wife Deryl love traveling, hiking, and spending time with their three grown children and eleven grandchildren. And of course, Jim is a Denver Bronco fan!

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After the service what do you hear about the sermon? What do you read on social media?

  • “It wasn’t deep enough.”
  • “I loved the message, God spoke to me!”
  • “Pastor Bob’s sermon from 1st Church was better, he connects better.”
  • “That teaching was challenging and convicted me, thank you!”
  • “It was boring and I didn’t get anything out of it.”
  • “Pastor brought the heat, can’t wait for next Sunday!”
  • “I really couldn’t listen, I’m not happy with the Pastor right now.”

If you have been part of a church for some time you’ve heard all these and more. It’s not a slam on the local church, it’s part of our humanity, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good.

There’s nothing wrong with some constructive criticism, in fact helpful critique is good. But there is a big difference between helpful critique and hurtful criticism about the Sunday sermon.

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Church membership should not consist of rules to keep people out, but ramps to help people grow.

Membership in a local church may seem outdated or unnecessary, but if led well, it adds great strength to your church.

Candidly, nearly all churches have some form of “membership.” 

  • Some formal, calling it church membership.
  • Others informal, using words like belonging, discipleship, culture, team, or community, etc.

Both are referring to the same idea, but with different words, in a different style, and with differing amounts of emphasis.

I’ve served in two churches that are part of The Wesleyan Church, a great denomination. In both churches, I’ve taught all or part of the membership class for many years.

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What is your dream job? Sometimes you know at the beginning of your ministry.

For others, like me, my dream job (Executive Pastor) didn’t exist when I started as a Student Pastor. Sometimes God has incredible surprises in store for us.

We all want to be in the perfect job we love — the place God created us to be.

The road you take to get there makes all the difference.

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