Tag Archive - venue

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6 Keys to Selecting your Next Multisite Location

This past weekend Sun Valley Community Church (the church I have the honor of serving at) just launched their 5th location with over 2,000 people attending one of the three services! It was a successful initial launch but now the hard work begins.

The multisite movement isn’t going away anytime soon. A 2014 exhaustive study conducted by Leadership Network found that there were more than 8,000 multisite churches across America and that number has continued to grow. In fact of the 100 largest churches in America only 12 are not multisite churches.

If your church is thinking about embracing a multisite strategy here are a few things you should consider when selecting your next location.

1. Driving Distance

A drive time of 15-30 minutes is the sweet spot between campuses. Keep in mind mental or emotional barriers that may be in play. Mountains, lakes, rivers, highways, rail road tracks and the like can all be mental barriers for people to attend a new location…and may be a reason to put a new location on the other side of that barrier.

2. Go Where You Already Are

To launch strong you need to go where you already are. Understand where your people are coming from and go there. Map where your attenders live and identify pockets of greater density as potential areas to begin new campuses.

3. Design Standards

When choosing a facility you want to make sure it is similar to your original campus or can be renovated to have a similar feel. Physical space tells people how to feel and how to behave. You don’t want people to walk into your new location and it doesn’t feel like your original location.

4. Location, Location, Location

Location matters, just ask any realtor. Is the location you’re considering for your next campus a popular location? Is there a lot of drive-by-traffic? Is it easy to get to? Is the community growing?

5. Differentiation

Is there a community nearby that needs a church like your church? Is what you do when it comes to your approach to ministry and style significantly different than what other churches in the area are doing?

6. Venue

Does the venue meet your basic needs and facility standards? Does it have the seating capacity you need to reach your definition of successful impact in multiple services? Does it have enough children’s ministry space? Does it have enough parking? Does it have the necessary electrical and infrastructure capacities to support what you do?

These are just a couple of things to consider when selecting your next multisite location. What else would you add to the list?


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts from 2016 #6 “Campus Constants for Multisite Churches”

The Multisite Church Movement continues to be one of the most popular topics on my blog the last couple of years and this year was no different. This post about Campus Constants came in at #6. Hope it’s helpful!

Last week the Unstuck Group hosted a successful webinar, “Making Multisite Work” with Tony Morgan, Warren Bird and members of the Unstuck Group. During that webinar I mentioned a “Campus Constant” document that we use at Sun Valley, a large multisite church in the Phoenix Metro area that I have the privilege of serving at, that helps us remain clear on our multisite model. During the live chat on the webinar we received multiple requests for me to share that document. So to make it easy I figured I’d just share it here for you. Feel free to learn from this and adapt it for your context. We’ve found that this document along with our leadership distinctives and “playbooks” developed by each Ministry Development Team member for each of their ministry areas has really helped us define, stay on track, and provide clarity to our multisite model.

Make sure you scroll to the bottom of this post to find the link to the replay of the webinar if you missed it and other multisite resources!

Mission:   Helping people meet, know, and follow Jesus.

Vision:   To help as many people meet, know and follow Jesus as we possibly can by growing a movement of reproducing Campuses and Churches.

By 2020, we believe God is leading us to:
– Experience 3,000 baptisms
– Expand to 7 campuses
– Start 7 new churches
– Start Residency Program
– Grow to 10,000 people in attendance

Strategy:   This strategy serves as the foundation for spiritual growth.

  • Meet: We help people meet Jesus through Weekend Services.
  • Know: We help people know Jesus through Small Groups.
  • Follow: We help people follow Jesus through opportunities to Give, Serve and Share

Cultural Values:   These values are what keep us on target as we move towards our vision.

  • Authenticity: Trusting Jesus and others with the real me.
  • Community: Learning from Jesus through strong friendships centered around God’s Word.
  • Generosity: Living like Jesus through giving, serving and sharing.

Leadership Distinctives:   This is what we expect from those in leadership and what makes the Sun Valley Staff Culture so unique. Follow this link if you’re interested in seeing these distinctives written out.

Leadership Structure:   At Sun Valley vision is global and leadership is local. Leadership authority and responsibility flows through the Campus Pastors and influence flows through Central Services and the Ministry Development Team. Every ministry of the Church at each Campus will operate under one leadership structure that ultimately comes under the authority of the Board of Servant Leaders and the Lead Pastor.

Campus Pastor Team:   Campus Pastors are responsible for executing the Sun Valley Mission, Vision, Strategy, Values and Leadership Distinctives on their respective campus. The Campus Pastor role is a Management and Shepherding role at Sun Valley. They manage SV Kids, SV Students, SV Groups and Guest Service ministries on their campus. They also shepherd the staff, volunteers, and congregants at their campus.

Ministry Development Team:   The Ministry Development Team influences the ministries on each Sun Valley Campus. They help to ensure that the following takes place on each Sun Valley Campus:

  • Content: Curriculum and teaching in each sub-ministry environment is the same on each campus.
  • Consistent: Ministry practices, behaviors, and experiences are consistent on each campus.
  • Communication: Clear lines of communication exist between ministry counterparts on each campus as well as between the Ministry Development Team and the Campus Pastors.
  • Coach: Observe sub-ministries and staff members on campuses and coach them towards effectiveness and Sun Valley cultural consistency.

Weekend Teaching:   The Teaching Team will set the teaching schedule and will serve as the primary communicators either in person or by video.

Branding:   Every Campus will operate under the same branding and communication strategy including a centralized website for the church representing all Campuses.

Financial Model:   Every Campus will share these financial goals:

  • Within 12 months, offerings from the Campus will cover its ongoing ministry expenses including staffing costs.
  • Within 24 months, the Campus will also contribute its prorated portion of central service expenses.
  • Within 36 months, the Campus will also contribute towards expansion endeavors.

Alignment:   We choose to align the best practices, behaviors, and experiences on each of our Campuses, including SV Kids, SV Students, Groups, Missions, Guest Services, Weekend Services and Business Services.

SV Kids:   We create safe environments for kids to experience fun and exciting ministry programming, create trust and partnership with parents, and provide a great guest experience to everyone.

  • Early Childhood: Birth-Pre-K
  • Elementary: K-4

SV Students:   We create safe environments for students to experience fun and exciting relationally based ministry, create trust and partnerships with parents, and provide a great guest experience to everyone.

  • Preteen: 5-6 Grade
  • High: 7-8 Grade
  • High School: 9-12 Grade

SV Groups:   We help people get to know Jesus through strong friendship centered around God’s Word because we believe that life-change takes place best in the context of community. SV Groups provides leadership to move people through the spiritual formation pathway at Sun Valley including Yes Weekends, Starting Point, Baptisms, Bridge Groups, Small Groups, Recovery & Support Groups, and Local Outreach.

Guest Services:   We provide an exceptional experience to every guest who attends a Sun Valley Campus every time. Each Campus builds and utilizes the following strategies and teams:

  • Parking Team & New Here Park Here
  • New Here Start Here
  • Greeters
  • Ushers
  • Info Center
  • Coffee Shop / Refreshments
  • Campus Safety

Missions:   Our strategic passions are 1) Church Planting 2) Leadership Development 3) Social Justice. Every mission partner we support and each short-term project we participate in will pass the filter of our strategic passions. Each Campus will participate in the same short-term projects and support the same partners. Each Campus will also participate in the generosity offerings annually.

Weekend Services:   There is one centralized process to build the weekend worship experience from concept to completion and then deliver it to each campus. Beginning with biblical content, including creativity, and resulting in an exceptional and engaging Christ-centered experience.

Business Services:   There will be one centralized process or system for administrative services including banking, budgeting, staffing, payroll, benefits, capital expenditures, I.T., church management software, facility management, lease agreements, legal needs, etc.

Multisite Resources from the Unstuck Group:

  1. Download our free White Paper: “One Team. Multiple Locations. How Staff Teams at Effective Multisite Churches Overcome Distance and Lead Together.”
  2. Watch a replay of our recent webinar: Making Multisite Work, with Tony Morgan, Warren Bird, and members of The Unstuck Group team.”
  3. Multisite Consulting: If your church is thinking about going multisite, need help clarifying your multisite strategy, or stuck at a couple campuses and want to move forward we offer consulting solutions designed specifically for multisite churches!

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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8 Things to Consider Before you 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 8 things to consider before you take the multisite plunge.

1. Get Healthy

Multisite is all about reproducing what you are. Not what you wish you were, or what you want to be. If your church isn’t healthy, get healthy first before you multisite. Do you have a culture worth replicating?

2. Go Multi-service & Multi-venue

If you can’t pull off doing multiple services in one location than you’re not going to be able to pull of doing services in multiple locations. And if you have the opportunity to do multi-venue (more than one service at the same time on the same campus) on one location that additional venue can be a great training ground and place to experiment for future multisite teams.

3. Do Image Magnification (IMAG) in your current Auditorium

If you plan on delivering teaching through technology like video then make sure you can do that well in one location before you attempt to do it in more than one location.

4. Determine the right Location

55-80% of your church lives within a 15-minute drive time of your existing church. The rest pretty much live within about a 30-minute drive time. That 15-30 minute drive time distance is the sweet spot. Build on an island of strength by identifying a location where you already have a high number of people driving from.

5. Decide who will be the Campus Pastor

One of the most important decisions you are going to make before you go multisite is, “Who is going to be the Campus Pastor?” Not only do they need to be a cultural fit, after all culture is transferred through people not systems, but they need to be a leader. They need to be able to turn followers into volunteers. Here’s more on “What Makes a Great Campus Pastor?”

6. How Consistent will our Ministries be between Campuses?

Before you launch determine how consistent your ministries will be between campuses. Will the new campus do every ministry that the sending or original campus does? If you’re not going to reproduce it than is it something that should be eliminated?

7. Determine the Cost

What is the plan for the new campus to be financially viable? Most multisite campuses become financially self-sustaining within 3 years. But how much will it cost to get there? A lot of that is determined by your facility choice, the equipment you resource the new campus with day one, how many givers are going to move from the sending campus to the new campus, and the growth rate of the new campus.

8. Launch Strong

It’s better to be strong in one location than weak in two. The average size of a multisite campus is 360 people. When launching a new campus ask yourself, can we send 200-400 people from our original campus and still be strong enough to keep moving forward and not cripple our sending campus?

Thanks to Leadership Network and Multisite Solutions for the research!

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership