What is a multisite church? A multisite church is one church meeting in two or more geographical locations under one overall leadership and budget. A multisite church shares a common vision, budget, leadership and board.
What does a multisite church look like? Every multisite church has a unique “church-print.” Most multisite campuses are fully-functioning congregations with a local site pastor. Some churches video-cast their sermons (live or recorded); others have in-person teaching onsite. Some churches maintain a similar worship style at all their campuses and others invite variation. Effective multisite churches reproduce and extend their ministry best practices consistently across multiple locations.
Is multisite just a fad? Since this movement began in the mid-1990’s over 5,000 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. By 2014, an estimated 5 million people, 10% of Protestant church-goers, attend a multisite church on any given weekend across North America and it’s spreading internationally.
Do you have to be a megachurch to go multisite? Absolutely not! Of the 5,000+ multisite churches, only about 20% are megachurches (2,000+ weekend attendance). The multisite movement began as band-aid strategy for megachurches who found themselves out of room or limited by zoning restrictions. It quickly evolved into a growth strategy for healthy churches of all sizes. It has developed into a revitalization strategy for stable, but stuck churches and has increasingly become a rebirth strategy for struggling churches through merging with a multisite church.
Do all multisite churches use video to deliver the sermons? No, only half of all multisite churches use video to deliver their sermons. The other half utilize live, in-person teaching models.
What is the difference between church-planting and multisiting? 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 that is self-governing. 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 extended and fully-functioning congregations of a sending church, but not independent churches.
Is multisite for every church? No, multisiting is for healthy churches that desire to reach more people, mobilize more volunteers, and multiply their community impact. It is not a growth engine to stimulate a declining church, but can be a vehicle to accommodate and accelerate a healthy, growing church.