Tag Archive - reproduce

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Why going Multisite won’t Fix your Church

The last stats I saw showed that there are more than 8,000 multisite churches across America and more than 1,600 mega churches (churches of more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance). While both are growing, the multisite church movement has outpaced the mega church movement in America. What was once seen as only a Band-Aid strategy for space issues at mega churches has become a vehicle for growth in local churches of all kinds and all sizes (the average size a church goes multisite is around 850-1200). “Multi” doesn’t mean “Mega” anymore.

I’m excited about this trend, because I’m excited about churches growing and reaching new people with the Gospel. But one trend I’ve observed about the multisite movement concerns me. 80% of churches in America are stuck or in decline and a growing number of them are looking to multisite as the silver bullet to fix their “stuckness.” Here’s why I’m concerned…

1. There is no Silver Bullet Fix for your Church

I’ve never seen a church (or a business, relationship, or anything else in life for that matter) where there was a silver bullet fix. For churches that are stuck or in decline, please don’t multisite. Trust me, you’ll only make it worse. Master the standard and then innovate.

2. Don’t go Multisite until you have to

Don’t go multisite until you have to. Sounds simple enough right? What that means is if you don’t have momentum don’t try to manufacture it through going multisite. It will backfire on you. If you’re already doing multiple services, if you’re already growing and reaching new people with the Gospel, if you already have momentum, if you already have the leadership and organizational bandwidth to do it then by all means, please, go multisite.

3. Don’t replicate Complexity

It’s near impossible to replicate complexity and let’s face it most churches in America are complex. If you have a menu approach to ministry where you pride yourself on having something for everyone it’s going to be difficult to replicate that at a new campus.

4. Going Multisite shines a light on your Strengths AND your Weaknesses

While your church may have some islands of strength to build on (just about every church does), it also has some weakness (again just about every church does). Multisite may amplify your strengths but it will do the same to your weaknesses, the ones you know about, and the ones you don’t.

5. Overextending yourself always Leads to Decline

One of my greatest concerns I see in churches going multisite before they’re ready is that they have a tendency to overextend themselves when it comes to staff, volunteers, finances, and so on. Over reaching always leads to decline and if you’re already stuck or declining multisite isn’t going to help.

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

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5 Big Questions to Answer Before you go Multisite

Currently there are more than 8,000 multisite churches across America and more than 1,600 mega churches (churches of more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance). While both are growing the multisite church movement has outpaced the mega church movement in America. What was once seen as only a Band-Aid strategy for space issues at mega churches has become a vehicle for growth in local churches of all kinds and all sizes (the average size a church goes multisite is around 850-1200). “Multi” doesn’t mean “Mega” anymore.

Your church may be considering going multisite. If so, that’s exciting news and I’d love to hear about it! But before you do here are 5 big questions you need to answer before you take the multisite plunge.

1. How are we going to Deliver Teaching?

About 50% of multisite churches are delivering teaching via video while the other 50% are using live teaching in their locations. Live teaching requires less investment in technology for distribution while delivering teaching via video allows for clearer vision, culture and leadership through one voice. There are a lot of pros and cons. What best fits the unique personality of your church and best supports the vision of where you’re going?

2. Why are we going Multisite?

This is the biggest question you need to be able to answer before you pull the trigger on multisite. Are you doing it because you are mimicking the practice of others or are you doing it because it’s a natural recourse of your identity and vision? Do you have a culture worth replicating or would you be better off church planting? Multisite is not a growth engine, but it is a delivery system for growth. If your church is currently stuck and not growing, moving to a multisite model is not going to make your church grow.

3. What are we looking for in a Campus Pastor?

Are you looking for someone who is a visionary and entrepreneurial or are you looking for someone who is a strong leader and can implement and replicate systems and culture? Do you need someone who can teach and lead from the stage or someone who can develop staff and build teams? Do you want to hire from within so they already understand your culture or do you want to hire from the outside so you can change things? Do you know what you’re looking for in a campus pastor?

4. What is our Launch Strategy?

Have you chosen a strategic location that reflects your culture? Are you launching in a location where you already have people who drive to your original campus living in? Have you developed a core team and started small groups in the community prior to a public launch of the new campus? Do you have a financial model built to move the campus towards becoming financially self sustaining and ultimately giving towards future campuses? Have you developed a staffing strategy for the campus as it launches and grows? How will you grand open the location and invite the community?

5. How Consistent will our Approach be?

How autonomous or consistent will each campus be in it’s approach to ministry? Will the guest experience be the same or unique on each campus? Will people check-in kids the same way on each campus? Will the weekend worship service be identical, similar, or different? Will each campus have the same ministries or unique? Will each campus go on their own mission trips and have their own local and international partners or will campuses pool their resources and do it together? The list could go on and on, but the question that needs to be answered is how consistent will you be in your approach?


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts of 2013 #8: “What is a Campus Pastor?”

As we continue to count down the top 10 posts of the year on Helping Churches Make Vision Real, this post about defining the role of a Campus Pastor generated a lot of interest. After all this emerging role in the church is beginning to redefine the church landscape in North America.

In August, 2012, Leadership Network released a report stating that over 5,000 churches are now multi-site churches (churches that meet in more than one location for worship). It’s a growing trend that first began with mega-churches, but has now expanded to churches of all sizes. With this new trend a new staff role has emerged, that of “Campus Pastor.” While a lot churches are still trying to figure out this new role, here are 6 things that great Campus Pastors do:

1. Reproduce Culture

In a multi-site setting you’re not building culture as so much as you are reproducing it. Somewhere along the line there was a decision made that the church had a culture worth replicating. That’s a big reason you’re multi-siting in the first place. Great Campus Pastors know how to reproduce culture in the context of the community of the new campus location.

2. Build Organizational Alignment

A Campus Pastor doesn’t have to come up with the mission, vision, values, spiritual maturity pathway, leadership distinctives, campus constants, and doctrinal statement. Again, those things probably already exist. But they do need to know how to build alignment around them and through them.

3. Big “I” Implementer

A great Campus Pastor makes things happen. They know how to see ideas through from concept to completion. They know how to set the staff up to succeed in the implementation of the goals, calendars and budgets of all ministries on their Campus in a manner that moves the campus towards the vision.

4. Cooperation

Great Campus Pastors know how to work with others. They know how to work with “Central Services” such as a centralized Business or Creative Arts Department to get the right things done.

5. Build a Leadership Culture

They know how to recruit, train, coach and mentor a Staff Team. They provide leadership and oversight to the Campus Staff and in so doing create a healthy staff team environment and leadership culture.

6. Shepherd the Congregation

At the end of the day great Campus Pastors love the local church. They have a shepherding gift and care about people becoming what God has dreamed up for them to look like. They know how to problem solve and shepherd through congregational matters.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing