Tag Archive - church plant

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Should your Church Start New Campuses or Plant New Churches?

“Multi” doesn’t mean “Mega” anymore. According to a study conducted by Leadership Network there are more than 8,000 multisite churches across America and more than 1,600 megachurches (churches of more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance). While both are growing, the multisite church movement has outpaced the megachurch movement in America. What was once seen only as a Band-Aid solution for space issues at megachurches has become a vehicle for growth in local churches of all kinds and all sizes (the average size that a church goes multisite is around 850).

But multisite is not the only way to reach new people. Church planting has been a time-tested strategy to reach new people in new cultural contexts. Church planting works best to reach people who are culturally and/or demographically different than us, where a different approach than the way we do church would be the most effective. Starting new multisite campuses on the other hand works best for people who are geographically closer, and both culturally and demographically similar to us where the same approach to the way we do church would be the most effective. In other words, it’s not one or the other, it’s both-and. It’s about what approach is going to be the most effective in reaching people with the Gospel. However, there are some significant differences between adopting a planting or a multisite model.

Location

Unless a new church plant is specifically designed to reach a different demographic in a current community, church plants typically take place outside of a 30-minute drive time radius of the sending church. New multisite campuses are typically launched within a 15-30-minute drive time of the sending church.

Leadership

The prototypical Church Planter is entrepreneurial, has a unique culture they are building, a specific vision they are chasing, and acts as the team owner. Great Campus Pastors on the other had embrace an existing vision, implement that vision in their unique campus context, shepherd the local congregation, and are great at coaching the team.

Finances

In a typical church plant, it’s not uncommon that the plant team raises financial support outside of the budget to fund their salary and to fund the public launch of the ministry. Often this financial support may come from individual donors, sending churches, or sending organizations. 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 funding than a church plant setting). Once that new campus is financially healthy they also typically begin funding central services with a fixed percentage of its budget.

Genesis

In a church plant, everything is starting at the beginning. Everything is new by nature, hasn’t been done in that unique church and context and by necessity must be created. In a multisite setting things aren’t being created as so much as they are being contextualized and replicated. After all, one of the reasons churches go multisite isn’t to create something new but rather because they have a culture worth replicating.

Governance

This one seems to be a bit of no-brainer, but church plants are typically self-governed and have their own board, even if they have a connection to a denomination. Multisite campuses, on the other hand, are governed by a central board of elders whose decisions influence every campus.

When it comes to managing the tension between church planting and multisite, it’s not a matter of either or, it’s both-and. They don’t have to be competing strategies. After all the goal is to lead more people, in more places, into a relationship with Jesus.

If your church needs help taking the next step with your multisite strategy I would encourage reaching out to the Unstuck Group. Our team has 40+ combined years of experience leading in successful multisite churches. Our proven multisite services are designed to help multisite churches clarify their strategy and effectively lead one church in multiple locations.


Posted in Leadership

5

4 Reasons Why Multisite Costs More Than Church Planting

It would be easy to think that a multisite church is more cost-efficient than church planting. However, there’s more to consider than meets the eye. For the past 6 years I’ve had the opportunity to serve at Sun Valley Community Church in Arizona and see the church grow from one site to five during that time. As we’ve gotten those campuses launched and running, one of the things that I’ve learned is that multisite is usually the more costly option of the two.

Thinking about launching a multisite church? Here are some things you should consider:

1. Technology:

The quality of the teaching is what brought your church the ability to go multisite; now, it is important to deliver that same quality experience – this time through video. Video teaching technology is more expensive than the typical cost outlay that a church plant would incur. Additionally, the replication of the worship service with lights, sound, musicians and more calls for a larger investment than that of a church plant.

2. Branding:

For a church to experience the amount of growth needed to go multisite, it has likely been operating for a couple of decades. This provides many years to build the brand, figure the dos and donts, your audience and your quirks. As you go multisite, it is important to maintain the same personality and culture. Simply, this calls for a higher financial investment to provide the same experience as a church that has functioned for a number of years.

3. Staffing:

In most church plants, the staff is required to raise support for the first one to three years. In multisite, the financial model must pay the salary of the staff members, in addition to the public launch of the church. The initial costs for one year of multisite operations could easily range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

4. Consistency:

In a church plant, everything begins from scratch. It is a fresh beginning. However, in multisite, environmental consistency needs to be replicated. After all, you have created a culture worth replicating.

Most church plants have the support of a partner church or denomination over a certain scope of time. In multisite, once you birth it you’re on the hook for the operations, staffing, technology, etc. until that new campus can become financially self sustaining.


Wondering if you’re ready for multisite? There’s more than cost to consider. Follow this link to learn about the Unstuck Group’s multisite consulting process and get our 9 Multisite Readiness Checkpoints guide for free.


Posted in Leadership

0

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.


Posted in Leadership