There are several church merger models used to help further and grow discipleship through the church. A vital church merger is when two or more churches merge as one church to sustain and further the life of the church. An adoption merger is when a church allows itself to be adopted by a usually larger church. The reason to do so is in the hope that church is strengthened by the infusion of fresh leadership and vision along with human and financial resources.
Alternative Faith Community
An alternative faith community is what happens when people in a local church come up with ways to reach people who might never come in the doors of the church. An alternative faith community combines religious practice with a distinctive element of local culture or community identity to extend discipleship beyond the church and into the community. Alternative Faith Communities may find themselves meeting on a beach, under a tree, or in a neighborhood coffee shop.
With a multisite NFC, an existing church starts a new faith community usually somewhere near their original location. This new community serves as a campus of the original church. The new community remains under a common umbrella with the original church sharing a common vision, staff, financial resources and more. With this model the church (on multiple sites) will function as one church.
A multi-venue plant is a new start which takes place within the facilities of an existing church. The new start is a part of the church and may even share some elements of its ministry, but it normally has a separate worship service and its own discipleship pathway. The goal is for the church to reach a population in the mission field the church is not presently reaching.