What is a multisite church?
A multisite church is one church meeting in multiple locations—different rooms on the same campus, different locations in the same region, or in some instances, different cities, states, or nations. A multisite church shares a common vision, budget, leadership and board. A church is considered multisite if it has more than one worship venue, more than one campus or a combination of both.
Here’s an excellent video that explains it further:
What are these multiple locations called?
Venues are locations where a worship service for adults is held on campus. Typically, this occurs in a fellowship hall, gym, student center or chapel. Campuses are any locations where a fully-functioning local church ministry happens on a weekly basis. A multisite church may have several campuses.
What does a multisite church look like?
A multisite church can resemble any of a wide variety of models. For some churches, having multiple sites involves only a worship service at each location; for others, each location has a full range of support ministries. Some churches use video-cast sermons (recorded or live); others have in-person teaching on-site. Some churches maintain a similar worship atmosphere and style at all their campuses, and others allow or invite variation.
Is multisite just a fad?
Since this movement began in the mid-1990’s, over 3,000 churches have embraced this model and their number is growing daily. Outreach Magazine declared in 2007 that the multisite model is no longer a trend, but the “new normal.” A survey by Lifeway Research in 2008 revealed that 45,000 churches “are seriously considering adding a worship service at one or more new locations or campuses in the next two years.” In 2009, an estimated 5 million people, 10% of Protestant church-goers, attend a multisite church on any given Sunday across North America.
Do you have to be a mega-church to go multi-site?
Of the 3,000 plus multisite churches, only a third are mega-churches. Multi-siting is not a big church tool, but a healthy church strategy.
Do all multisite churches use video to deliver the sermons?
No, only a third of multisite churches strictly use video, another third utilize in-person teaching teams, and another third use a hybrid of in-person teachers and video-cast messages.
What is the difference between church-planting and multi-siting?
They both arrive at the same outcome of a new congregation in a community, but they arrive through different pathways.
A church plant is usually a small delegation of people who leave a church to go develop a brand new church. Typically, church plants have their own teaching pastor, their own leaders, and their own budget with some financial help from the “sending” church or denomination; otherwise, they are a new and independent entity. Multiple sites are new, extended, and fully-functioning congregations of a sending church, but not independent churches.
Is multisite for every church?
No, multi-siting is for healthy churches that have a desire to reach more people, mobilize more volunteers, and multiply their community impact. It is not a growth engine to jump start a declining church, but can be a vehicle to accommodate and accelerate a growing church.
How can MultiSite Solutions help my church?
Our team of seasoned multi-site practitioner Strategists and Specialists can help multiply the impact of your church in one of several ways:
1. Considering MultiSite?
There is no one-size-fits-all formula to follow in becoming a multisite church. Yet every church considering multisite will have to address the same basic issues. We will walk you through those issues to help you determine if multisite is right for your church and then assist you in developing and implementing a customized multisite strategic plan. It begins with a one-day multisite orientation.
2. Currently MultiSite?
Though a multisite strategy is a proven model for reaching and serving more people, it does have its challenges. Though every multisite church is unique and different, all of them face the same basic issues—technology, inter-campus relationships, staffing, organizational structure, funding, resource allocation, governance, etc. Multisite changes everything. So, how are you managing the change?
We will do a weekend visit to assess your multisite experience and then debrief on Monday with your team to help you process your unique challenges and opportunities. We will share with you the best practices of succeeding multisite churches and surface the issues that are hindering your church from maximizing its redemptive potential.
3. Church Mergers
Increasingly church mergers are becoming a viable option for yielding healthy multisite churches. Unlike church mergers of the past that typically were the “last gasp” efforts of two struggling congregations, these mergers have a different look and feel. They emerge out of a shared vision, strategic planning and common geography. They are less about win-lose and more about win-win relationships, and their synergy is greater than the sum total of the separate congregations. They are vision-driven and motivated by a desire to leverage resources for maximum Kingdom impact. Though multi-siting through church mergers can accelerate your multi-site strategy, they can also be a huge distraction and drain of time and resources. We can help you assess the potential of a church merger and help you navigate the delicate process.
4. MultiSite Specialists
Going multisite presents some unique opportunities and challenges. Our team of multisite, nationally recognized Specialists can help you develop or improve the impact of your church in some very specific areas—Technology, Guest Relations, Outreach & Evangelism, and Internet Campusing. Specific deliverables available upon request.