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What Thriving Multisite Churches Do Exceptionally Well

February 21, 2017

Guest article courtesy of Portable Church Industries-

An increasing number of churches are going the multisite way. In fact, the last 15 years have seen close to 8,000 multisite churches spring up across the United States. That’s not all, an impressive 85% of multisite churches continue to thrive even past their fifth year.

If you’re looking to launch multiple campuses or seeking inspiration for your current multisite church, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of five key things that successful multisite churches are doing exceptionally well. Let’s take a look:

1. Focusing more on outreach:
While a growing congregation can trigger the launch of a new campus, it is the desire to reach the unreached that drives successful multisites. In fact, as Jim Tomberlin says, “Church leaders are focusing less on church growth and more on serving their local communities through multiple campuses.”

That is why The Meeting House in Toronto has spread itself across 18 locations so that it can invite “people who aren’t into church.” What’s more, this church has gone a step further to welcome the unchurched by using unconventional spaces, including a movie theater and a school, as its houses of worship.

2. Making the most of technology:
Technology is a useful asset for any 21st-century church. Multisite churches, in particular, are increasingly leveraging technology to create an immersive experience for congregations across all campuses. One way in which leading multisite churches are doing this is by using the same technology and equipment models in all their sites. This makes troubleshooting and substituting for tech and production teams much easier.

That is why Portable Church Industries designed the control center for Faithbridge Church’s new site to mimic the equipment in their main facility. In fact, this approach enabled the church to seamlessly livestream the service from the main campus to the new site.

3. Using spaces creatively for ministries:
While a multisite campus shares the vision of the parent church, it also has its own unique footprint. In fact, a multisite model gives churches the freedom to experiment with a range of ideas to suit the needs of their different campuses.

The Red Rocks Church, for example, decided to revamp and use seven unusual venues, including a “creepy” theme park, a run-down theater, a prison and a high school. Each of these sites was designed to suit the different congregations as well as retain the vision of the parent church.

4. Empowering volunteers:
While effective leadership is key to the success of any church, good volunteers are essential for its smooth functioning. However, engaging volunteers effectively remains a challenge for many churches. Well, multisite campuses seem to have hit a home run in this regard, with 88% of multisites seeing an increase in lay participation.

For example, Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL, chose to launch its campuses in portable venues in a bid to maximize care for its volunteers. By looking at portability as an opportunity, this church has mobilized a large team of volunteers who are excited about serving together and ministering to each other – as a community!

5. Going portable:
The landscape of churches is changing drastically! An increasing number of churches are abandoning the concept of a permanent church building and choosing portable venues as their homes. In fact, 52% of multisite campuses launch in rented spaces. After all, setting up in portable venues is not only easy on the wallet, but also a great way to open doors to the unchurched.

In the words of Carey Nieuwhof, going portable is the future of churches. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Carey’s church, Connexus Community Church, has continued with the portable model in different locations despite having a permanent building.

As seasoned practitioners and pioneers in the multisite movement, Multisite Solutions provides the highest level of consulting and coaching expertise to help churches develop and implement customized multisite, merger and multiplication strategies. We are grateful for our strategic partnership with Portable Church Industries.

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"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."


"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."

Northview Church
Steve Poe – Lead Pastor – Northview Church – Carmel, IN

"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

"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

"He is a veteran leader, who is able to combine a wealth of knowledge with an intuitive grasp of the needs of the local pastor."

The Chapel
Scott Chapman – The Chapel, Lake Country, IL

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

Craig Groeschel – Lead Pastor
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