5 Differences Between a Multisite and Church Plant

In the past 24 years of existence Sun Valley (the church I get to serve at) has been a part of planting more than 25 churches and in the past 2 years has gone multisite moving from 1 campus to three, with more coming in the future. One of the things we’ve discovered along the way is that there are significant differences between church planting and going multisite. Here’s just a few…

1. Location

For a lot of reasons multisite typically works best inside a 30-minute radius of the original campus. Church planting typically takes place outside of a 30-minute radius of the sending church.

2. Leadership

The best Campus Pastors are great implementers, embrace an existing vision, and are great at coaching the team. Click here to learn more about Campus Pastors. The prototypical Church Planter is entrepreneurial, sets the vision, and acts as the team owner.

3. Financial Model

Often times in a church plant staff raise financial support to fund their salary and to fund the public launch of the ministry. In a multisite setting the original campus or existing campuses fund the new campus including salaries, facilities, and start up costs (usually with more significant funds than a church plant setting). By the way that new campus typically helps fund central services with a fixed percentage of its budget.

4. Starting Point

In a church plant everything is starting at the beginning. Everything is new and is being created. In a multisite setting things aren’t being created as so much as they are being replicated. After all one of the reasons you’re going multisite in the first place is because you feel you have a culture worth replicating.

5. Governance

This one may be a no-brainer but church plants are typically self-governed and have their own board. Multisite campuses, on the other hand, are governed by a central board of elders that influence every campus.

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