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MultiSite Must-Read List 2015

April 13, 2015

As a multisite church leader what books should I be reading?

My friend, colleague and co-author Warren Bird and I are asked this question all the time.  We pooled our thoughts and came up with these top recommendations:

Books every multisite church leader should read:

1. The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Location is the standard text on the multisite church from Greg Ligon, Geoff Surratt and Warren Bird.

2. A Multi-Site Church Roadtrip: Exploring the New Normal is the sequel to The Multi-Site Church Revolution that takes you on a tour of 14 multisite churches across America to see how they’re handling the opportunities and challenges of multisiting.

3. Multi-Site Churches: Guidance for the Movement’s Next Generation. Scott McConnell shares common practices and mistakes to avoid and first-person advice and anecdotes from leading multisite church pastors.

4. 125 Tips for MultiSite Churches and Those Who Want To Be. Succinct and practical tips organized around the key components of multisiting by Jim Tomberlin (the latest book on multisite and the most useful—unbiased!)

5. Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work by Jim Tomberlin & Warren Bird. One out of three multisite campuses are the result of a merger and the majority of churches in America are stuck, struggling or sinking. This is the only book written on how to have a successful, mission-driven church merger.

6. The Big Idea: Aligning the Ministries of Your Church through Creative Collaboration by Dave Ferguson, Eric Bramlett and Jon Ferguson. The key to multisiting is consistency across all campuses and ministries. This book is especially helpful for multisite churches using the live, in-person sermon delivery strategy.

7. Micropolitan Church: Doing Mega-Ministry in America’s Small Towns by Jerry Harris and Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals by Shannon O’Dell demonstrate that churches can become successful and effective multisiting megachurches in the rural back roads and small towns of America.

8. Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement. Dave and Jon Ferguson share how to become a reproducing multisiting church that creates networks that become movements.

9. Church Locality: New Rules for Church Buildings in a Multisite, Church-Planting, Giga-Church World by Jim Tomberlin & Tim Cool.  This book is a tool and guide to the where of church facilities. Where should we meet? What kinds of facilities are usable for churches? What are the implications of the various options?  This book is all about the locations and facilities that reproducing churches are utilizing today to extend their reach and impact.

10. Spark: Igniting a Culture of Multiplication. Exponential Director Todd Wilson challenges church leaders to move beyond the status quo of growth by addition to become a movement-making multiplying church. Caution. Read carefully and slowly, Spark is church nitroglycerine.

Books that will help you be a more effective multisite church:

1. Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement by Will Mancini. The key to effective church impact is having clarity on what God has called your church to be and then do. Mancini’s award winning book helps church leaders unlock their church’s unique DNA and unleash their congregation’s one-of-a-kind potential.

2. Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. The new mantra for church work today is “less is more.” This book will help you rethink how your church can become more effective by being simpler in programs and structure. The more simple your church is, the easier it will be to reproduce in multiple locations.

3. Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code: Seven Keys to Unleashing Vision and Inspiration by Sam Chand. “Culture trumps everything.” If your church is denominational or older than ten years—don’t start multisiting till you have read this book!

4. Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. Andy Stanley shares his philosophy that has made North Point Church one of the most influential and successful multisite churches in America.

5. Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page by Larry Osborne. This is the most helpful and practical book on how to work with your church board and staff team from a seasoned and successful practitioner and the “grandfather of video venues.”

6. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni. Learn how to lead your team in a healthy way and you can change the world and your neighborhood.

7. To Transform a City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City by Eric Swanson & Sam Williams. Multisite churches can and are playing a key role in creating city-wide collaborative church networks. They are partnering with non-profit organizations and marketplace leaders to better serve and impact their cities together. This book lays the foundation for the growing city transformation movement that is occurring across North America.

8. Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn from America’s Largest Churches by Scott Thumma & Dave Travis. Like it or not, good or bad—megachurches are the pacesetters. The authors expose the myths and unpack the lessons to be gained from the megachurches of America.

9. What’s Next: A Look Over the Next Hill for Innovative Churches and Their Leaders by Dave Travis. One of the foremost observers of the Church in America gives us his informed prognostications about what is ahead in the second decade of the 21st century.

10. Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers  by Ed Stetzer & Warren Bird. A groundbreaking guide for multiplying the impact of local churches by reproducing congregations that reproduce congregations.

What books would you add to the list?

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  • Pastor Bob

    The “Better Together” book was an invaluable tool when we did a merger for our third site. I dog-eared, highlighted and re-read it multiple times through the process. The result was a vibrant Bridgewater campus where there once was an aging, struggling church.

    1. MultiSiteGuy Post author

      Bob, We are celebrating with you the good outcome of your merger.
      Thanks for sharing your story. That’s why Warren and I wrote the book.
      Better together!


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