Currently 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 as only a Band-Aid strategy for space issues at megachurches has become a vehicle for growth in local churches of all kinds and all sizes (the average size a church goes multisite is around 850-1,200). “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 five big questions you need to answer before you take the multisite plunge.
1. How are we going to Deliver Teaching?
About 50 percent of multisite churches are delivering teaching via video while the other 50 percent 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 toward becoming financially self-sustaining and ultimately giving toward 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 its 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?