The church I lead at has been multisite now for more than 3 years and we’re currently working on opening up our 4th campus. I also work with churches across the country with the Unstuck Group and often field questions from church leaders about going multisite. In those discussions I’ve come to realize there are a whole list of misconceptions floating around out there about the multisite movement. Here are a couple of the more popular ones I get.
#1 Multisite is only for Mega-Churches
Currently in America there are just at about 1,600 mega churches (churches of 2,000+ in weekend attendance), but there are more than 8,000 multisite churches across America. In other words the multisite movement is outpacing the mega-church movement. And the average size a church goes multisite is when they hit 1,200 in attendance. That’s 800 short of the mega-church label.
#2 Multisite means Video Teaching
Not so fast. Early on in the multisite movement video was the way many multisite churches were delivering weekend preaching. That number has shifted and now it’s at about a 50-50 split of multisite churches that use live teaching and churches that use video.
#3 Multisite will Grow our Church
As my friend Jim Tomberlin likes to say, “Multisite is not a growth engine, it’s a growth vehicle.” In other words it’s a strategy to deliver growth, not drive it. If you’re not already healthy, multisite will not make you healthy. If you’re not already outsider focused, multisite will not make you outsider focused. Multisite will just make you more of what you already are. In other words, get healthy first…then go multisite.
#4 Multisite is Cheaper than Church Planting
Not so much. At the church I serve at we do both church planting and multisite. When we begin a church plant we typically fund it at $100k. I’ve seen the average number to start a multisite at $250k and higher. However multisite campuses grow faster and have a higher survival rate than church plants do.
#5 Multisite only works in Large Towns & Cities
A friend of mine, John Fuller, pastors Prairie Lakes Church, a multisite church in Iowa with 6 locations. They’ve got a campus in a town of 40,000 and campus in a town of 3,000 and everything in between. So yea, it works in small towns too.
#6 Multisite will never work for people Over 55
Today I was over at our Tempe Campus and stepped into our traditional service. When I say traditional service, I mean a full on traditional service with a choir, hymns, and a more traditional chapel environment. As you can imagine the demographic of the room is older and is marked by mostly grey hair (at least they have hair, I’m envious). That service just like the modern service on the Tempe Campus this weekend was video teaching, and it’s working.
#7 The Campus Pastor needs to be a Rock Star
You’re looking for a Campus Pastor not a Church Planter. They’ve got to bleed the DNA of the existing church not want to live out the DNA of their dream church. Based on your teaching model they may not even have to have a preaching gift. You’re looking for a leader not just a shepherd, they have to be able to build something.
What are some other common misconceptions you’ve heard or have had about the multisite movement? Leave a comment!
Interested in learning and growing as a leader in a multisite church? Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of my next Leadership Coaching Network focused specifically on multisite church leaders. Follow this link to learn more!
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