Join Our Community

Get the latest resources and updates on what’s happening in multisite church world, church mergers and church multiplication.


MultiSightings Blog

Have We Seen the Last Mega-Campus?

September 13, 2018

By Jim Tomberlin, repost from Ministry Trends

Through the internet and social media, the ministry of a local church is no longer confined to its facility.

Megachurches are not going anywhere. Their number is increasing, and so is their attendance. But it’s becoming less common for megachurches to bring all their worshipers together at a single campus.

At the end of the 20th century, megachurches developed huge tracts of land and large mall-like facilities with thousands of sanctuary seats. These days that strategy is fading, and new mega-campuses are rarely built. Why? These massive facilities struggle to serve their primary purpose over the long haul. Some pastor-centric churches will manage to keep their existing mega-campuses going, but many others will sit half-empty in the next decade as their aging senior pastors retire.

How are mega-campuses adapting?

Like the empty cathedrals of Europe, a few mega-campuses will probably become historical landmarks—inspiring, but empty. Some will be sold and used for non-religious purposes or torn down. But many mega- campuses are repurposing and readapting their facilities in creative ways.

REPURPOSING involves right-sizing and retrofitting a facility to accommodate a smaller congregation:

  • Reducing seating space by closing off some areas with curtains, or by creating larger aisles and shorter rows
  • Replacing fixed seating with other options, such as sofas or café tables and chairs
  • Converting portions of the worship space to “comfort” or “family” rooms to create alternate spaces for families with children
  • Converting massive stage platforms and choir lofts into “back of house” functions like greenrooms, storage spaces, set-building workshops, and office suites

READAPTING involves converting a campus into a mixed-use facility:

  • Remodeling some portions of the facility for retail, housing,
    and commercial uses
  • Inviting ethnic congregations to use some of the facility
  • Sharing office and meeting space with nonprofit organizations, food banks, and clothing centers
  • Renting space to a preschool or childcare center
  • Offering after-school mentoring programs
  • Opening a community café
  • Partnering with the city and schools to use the facility for conferences, artistic performances, and community events
  • Leasing office and parking space to businesses or local government agencies




Adapted from Church Locality: New Rules for Church Buildings in a Multisite, Church Planting, and Giga-Church World, by Jim Tomberlin and Tim Cool (Rainer, 2014)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Up To Date

Subscribe to Newsletter

"If you’re planning to go multisite and want someone to walk you through implementing your strategy successfully you’ll want to connect with Jim…you won’t be disappointed."

Community Christian Church
Dave Ferguson – Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL

"Jim is one of the country’s leading thinkers on the multi-site movement."

Craig Groeschel – Lead Pastor

"With our Branch Creek Campus, LCBC Church is better positioned to reach more people with the good news of Jesus throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania. Having Jim Tomberlin at our side was a definite benefit..."

Lives Changed By Christ Church, Lancaster, PA
David Ashcraft – Senior Pastor

"Jim Tomberlin was a huge asset to us during our recent move to multisite. His experience and expertise helped us navigate our staff and church through a church merger and greatly assisted us in the union of two churches. I highly recommend Jim to anyone prayerfully considering either mergers or multisite churches."

Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church

"Not only did he bring a depth of knowledge, insight and wisdom but he also helped to bring clarity to our strategy which will keep us healthy and growing well into the future. Jim brought to our team a pastor’s heart with a strategist’s mind for how to understand church growth through multisites."


"If your church is thinking about going multisite make sure you have Jim on your team."

Sagebrush Church
Todd Cook – Sagebush Community Church – Alberquerque, New Mexico

"If the Holy Spirit is in it, Jim and his team can help you develop a plan to that honors God and everyone involved."

The Bridge Church Cleveland, GA
Patrick Ballington – Lead Pastor
Read More Testimonials
Subscribe to Newsletter Stay informed about our news and events