I wrote last week about satellite churches. Lizard-eater quoted me on her blog:
She also said
I like the satellite idea, but it seems to me it needs to be that way from the inception of the satellite church. Could a large church "annex" us successfully? I don't think so. It's just a completely different way of doing church.
Right. Rev Morales had more to say on this. His church was in 'annexation' discussions with a struggling suburban church which wanted to have a merger. After a long meeting of the two boards plus Morales, he said "Look, when a thriving large church and a small struggling church join, it is not a merger. It's an acquisition. Yes, we are going to make some big changes in the way things are done. Yes, we're going to do them right away - because the way you have been doing it hasn't been working and isn't serving your people." [* quoted from memory over a week ago, so take it for what it's worth.]
So the deal didn't go through. Rev Morales also said, "Look, when a church has been small for more than 10 years, then small gets into their DNA."
Annexation didn't go through in suburban Denver. That doesn't mean it's a doomed model, though. That is to say -- the church I attend was founded as a
But you can't do it without help. When my church got its first part-time minister, we split his services with a small UU fellowship five hours away from here. RIght now, in my metro area -- all within a two hour drive of each other - there are four struggling UU churches, none have a minister, even part time. Wise heads in each of the congregations know they need to hire a pastor. But near as I can tell, they are not getting any guidance to get together and offer a joint package, to pool resources. They need to split the services of a one full time minister, and they need somebody to show them how.
Aside: I didn't know Lizard-Eater had quoted me in her blog. I read it regularly; I'd just missed that post. But last night, at our pledge dinner, a new member of the church came up and said "I saw you quoted in a blog I was reading -- what is a satellite church?"