The multisite movement isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the last statistics I saw indicated that only 12 of the 100 of the largest churches in America are not multisite churches. What was once a band aid solution that growing churches used to create space for outgrowing their facilities has now turned into a mainstream method to deliver growth to new locations.
If you church is thinking about launching a new multisite location in the next 18 months I’d encourage you to seriously think and talk through the following 7 questions with your Sr. Leadership Team to help you determine the next right location.
#1 Do we already have people attending our church that live in that new location?
You plant new churches where you don’t have people attending your church but you start new campuses where you already have people attending your church. Launching strong means “going where you are.” I know it may sound counterintuitive but it works. Start by mapping out where your current attenders live and identify pockets of greater density as potential areas to begin new campuses.
#2 Are there people in that new location already engaged in our mission?
Beyond attendance and “brand recognition,” do you have people in that area who are “all in” with you? People who will transfer your culture to the next location and who can lead not just attend? A great place to start is to determine who lives in that area that is already in a small group, they’re financially contributing to the church, they’re on a volunteer team, or they’re leading other volunteers.
#3 Is the new location 20-30 minutes from our existing location?
This is still the sweet spot nationally on drive time between campuses. Obviously, there are variations between urban, suburban and rural communities. There are also emotional barriers at play with drive times. Mountains, lakes, rivers, rail road tracks, highways and the like can all be mental barriers in communities to people attending a new campus or driving to a location…and those just may be a reason to put a new campus on the other side of that barrier.
#4 Does the location reflect who we are trying to reach?
All churches idealistically want to reach all people, I understand that sentiment. But your church is naturally built by intention or neglect to reach a certain kind of person. Your style and approach to ministry is designed to work with certain people and not with others. Don’t fight it. It’s a biblical approach. It’s called contextualization and it’s what the Apostle Paul did in the early stages of the Church.
#5 Are there available facilities with the right parking and seating capacities that are also in the right location?
It still holds true. Location, location, location…just ask any realtor. Does the location you’re considering meet your seating, kids space, and parking needs? Are you going to buy land and build ground up? Is it a popular area that has a lot of drive by traffic? Is it an area that people drive to or drive from?
#6 Are there already churches with a similar mission and style in the new area we’re looking at?
Other churches aren’t the enemy. The enemy (Satan) is the enemy. We are not in competition with other churches. If there is another church like you in that area and the population density wouldn’t work for more churches like that, then move on to another location.
#7 Is the potential location experiencing growth or development?
Are new people moving to the area? Is the area growing and experiencing new development? New people get involved in new churches and take new steps. New is a huge potential for success.
Need help with your multisite model or expansion? The Unstuck Group has a proven process to help you go multisite for the first time or develop your multisite model for future expansion! Follow this link to start a conversation!