The Secret to Launching Healthy Multisite Church Campuses

20 years ago I was part of a church called The Meeting House. I didn’t know it at the time, but we were seeing the birth of the multisite church campuses.

multisite church campuses

My own personal story intersects with helping those campuses launch at The Meeting House and eventually with Connexus Church in Central Ontario and Liquid Church in New Jersey. I found myself in the driver’s seat for 13 launches. Over those years, we saw 1,500 volunteers become a part of the launch of those campuses. Today, more than 9,000 people attend services at these campuses every weekend. Those three churches have gone on to launch more than 30 campuses of their own. The multisite church movement is here to stay and is making a massive impact on churches across the country.

What I used to think about launching multisite church campuses

When I first started with this movement, I thought the secret to launching healthy multisite church campuses involved the following:

  • Finding the right person to lead the launch // I spent a lot of time, effort, and energy convincing people to join our teams and lead the launches. I had to consider the profile of those potential leaders: is this someone who is a leader, or is this a manager wrestling through a responsibility in relationship to the central services teams? 
  • Location, location, location // I recall a particular launch where our team looked at between 60 to 70 different buildings trying to find a meeting place for a new campus. I’ve also been involved in moving campuses when we realized we were spending too much money on the location as a weekend meeting space.
  • The funding model // How can we raise enough resources to not only get the first few campuses launched, but to also reach the point where the campuses are financially self-sustainable and we can launch a new campus with the excess revenue that’s being generated?

What I NOW think about launching multisite church campuses

All these components play a role, but none are a secret key to multisite success. After all those launches and watching the multisite church campuses grow and expand their reach, my firm conviction is this: the success factor for launching healthy multisite church campuses is the size and health of the volunteer core.

If your church is considering launching new campuses, you’ll need to build a system for acquiring a large, healthy core of volunteers. If you can get that team big enough and healthy enough, then the long-term success of your campus is almost guaranteed. This isn’t about getting people to go to the new campus; it’s about getting them to volunteer at the new campus. This is a subtle but important distinction. Your church doesn’t need more people to sit in the seats and then drive home each weekend; your church needs actively engaged members. 

We believe that your church should launch a new campus in this next year, but we want to help you do it in a way that will ensure the long-term success and health of the location. That’s why we’re offering this course.

Is your church thinking about launching a new campus? This course is for you: Launch a Healthy Multisite Church Campus

 

 

This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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Rich Birch
Rich serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. He blogs at UnSeminary.com and is a sought after speaker and consultant on multisite, pastoral productivity and communications.