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The Multi-Site Church Planting Strategy: One church operating in multiple locations!: 

The Multi-Site Church Planting Strategy: One church operating in multiple locations! By Tom Cheyney

Original Material: 

Original Material The original material for this resource grew out of my personal experience with Elmer Towns (1984), when he challenged a group of us to consider Multi-site and Expanded Geographic Strategy for our present church plants. Additionally, it grew out of chapters 16 and 17 of a church planting manual I authored in 1989. It has been updated with current on-field multi-site church planting. In the past, about 12 churches were trying these planting strategies. Today, there are over 1,200 multi-site churches, and the number is increasing!

The Challenge: 

The Challenge Many new church plants, and existing churches, are faced with the challenge of having located in a community where there is little growth. Usually, for new churches, it is due to inadequately understanding the shifts taking place in the target area.

The Challenge: 

The Challenge For long established churches, they are faced with the challenge of having located in a community where there is little growth compared to 20 years ago! When this happens, these churches look toward new, developing areas outside their community.

The Potential: 

The Potential Perhaps, they ought to relocate. Perhaps, they ought to plant another church! What is the answer? How about doing both -- in a better way?

What to do…What to do?: 

What to do…What to do? Many new and established churches have seen many of their members move into new areas across town or out on the fringe of town. Faced with such situations, many new and established churches begin the laborious work of relocation.

What to do…What to do?: 

What to do…What to do? How about starting another new church by developing multiple sites? Let’s consider this idea: “Stay here and move there!”

Point to ponder!: 

Point to ponder! Our strong churches are growing large by growing smaller simultaneously. They blend the strength that size offers, with the convenience of smaller and closer venues. Multi-site plants enable the new work to have punch, while keeping the excitement of something new!

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY The eighth innovative strategy, which we will discuss briefly, is one that was just beginning to be used in the United States in the early 1980’s. It is the Expanded Geographic Strategy. This strategy is: when a new or existing church begins to expand its ministry by developing satellite locations. The first pastor to develop this concept was Fred Smith out of Texas. He started these satellites as additional preaching opportunities on Sundays.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Once they grew to sufficient size, he called a church planter on staff to lead it further. As he added the extra staff, the church quit being an expanded geographic church, and became its own automous work. An Expanded Geographic Strategy has at least two locations. The church ministers in both places every Sunday.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY AN EXAMPLE FROM THE PAST (Circa 1980’S) In the San Fernando Valley of California, there is an early example of this type of strategy. It is the Church on the Way (Jack Hayford, pastor). Some church structures would say this concept is where one complete staff pastors two different congregations.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Originally, this church was called The Van Nuys Foursquare Church, but was later changed. It identifies itself with Jesus, who called Himself "the Way," and with Christians, who are willing to be "on the way with Jesus" to touch needy people.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY The Church on the Way, like many of the other churches that are innovative, design their services for the nonbeliever, as well as the believer. This church has experienced growth without some of the traditional methods, such as: revivals or evangelistic preaching, altar calls, and visitation programs. At The Church on the Way, the preaching does not center on denouncing sin, but on exalting Christ. One very important aspect of Expanded Geographic churches is that it focuses on new worship dynamics and experiences.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Hayford says the church must "redefine, unwrap and unseal" worship. To him, this means that worship must be more than the adoration of God; it also includes intimacy between the worshiper and God.[1] The unwrapping means removing sectarian prejudices. Unsealing worship means that worship becomes a whole-person reformation process. [1]Jack Hayford, The Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Wheaton, 1991, July 14-18.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY For a further understanding, his book, Worship His Majesty, is an excellent source of this worship strategy. Another excellent resource is Sally Morgenthaler’s book, Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY The only way a strong, expanded, geographic church can continue is for the professional staff to be completely committed to the strategy. Having a two campus church can be exciting, but it also could lead to growth pains along the way.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY In order to facilitate an expanded location ministry, The Church on the Way used two facilities, about one quarter of a mile apart. The congregations use both auditoriums and Sunday School space, but they alternate locations each hour in order to solve the problem of parking between services. The Expanded Geographic Strategy is an idea we will hear more about as we face the turn of the century.

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXPANDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Well, we are here in the 21st Century and the strategy that started with a few churches has blossomed! (More on that later.)

What does it look like today?: 

What does it look like today? Conjoined congregations – One church meeting simultaneously in two or more locations. They usually share the preacher by one site live and the other video linked. Example: Larry Osborne, North Coast Church, Ca. Jack Hayford, The Church on the Way, Ca. 2. Video Cafes – Multiple congregations of one church, meeting at different times on the main campus, often with different worship formats, watch the same preacher on recorded video or live link.

What does it look like today?: 

What does it look like today? Satellite Congregations – Multiple congregations, still controlled by the mother church but operating on remote campuses, watch recorded sermons of the preacher at the main campus. Examples: Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels and Dave Ferguson

What does it look like today?: 

What does it look like today? The Preacher-less Church – An independent congregation that uses recorded sermons from another ministry, while providing its own worship, leadership, programming, and governing body. Example: Charles Stanley and Bill Hybels

Same Idea Different Location: 

Same Idea Different Location

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY The ninth strategy, and the second along the line of geographic-oriented strategies, is the Extended Geographic Strategy. Like the previous strategy, there was not a lot of written work on the concept in the early 1980’s. As we moved into the 21st Century, that all changed. In 1990, Elmer L. Towns, Vice President of Liberty University and Dean of their School of Religion, coined the term "Extended Geographical Parish Church."[ii] For the next three years, there would only be one example. [ii]Towns, p. 90.

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY AN EXAMPLE FROM THE PAST (Circa 1980’S) It worked and it didn’t! Others tried it and they were successful. Again, Elmer Towns states, "Inasmuch as a church is the extension of the length and shadow of its pastor, so is the unusual extended geographical strategy of Perimeter Church to reach the entire metropolitan population of Atlanta."[iii] [iii] Towns, p. 90.

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Their pastor, Randy Pope, originally had a vision of planting 100 church fronts around the interstate perimeter of Atlanta, Georgia. That is how it actually got its name. Pope’s vision was to touch the entire metro area of Atlanta for Christ. Pastor Pope states, "I didn't want to build just one super church touching only one socioeconomic group in one part of Atlanta," he says. "Instead, I wanted to find a way to impact the whole of the city- reaching far beyond the influence of one church in one location."

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Hence Perimeter Church would be designed to be one "local church," but one that meets in many locations."[iv] It still uses the same idea of one senior pastor like the Expanded Geographic Strategy of The Church on the Way, but that is where the similarities change. [iv]Towns, p. 90.

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Yes, there is one pastor leader, but each of the perimeter locations has individual pastors and separate outreach programs. There is one board that runs these churches with three elders from each congregation serving on the board.

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY The Extended Geographic Strategy uses the principle of referral. Friends tell friends about the church and help them find the Perimeter church closest to them. One very unique part of the Perimeter Church of Atlanta is their DAWN (Discipleship and Weekly Nurture) group for men. The first church (location) was begun September 25, 1977.[v] [v] Towns, p. 90.

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY In less than three years, Randy Pope had the church ready to launch its second location (on the other side of the Atlanta perimeter loop in Marietta, Georgia). In 1980, Perimeter Church of Atlanta began its second ministry center, which was a little over 10 miles from the original congregation. Since that time, a new congregation has been planted about every three years. The third plant was located about 20 miles from the original in Gwinnett County. Today, they have multiple locations around the perimeter area.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY It is easy to realize that such a strategy takes a group of individuals who believe in missions. The model is a servant to the mission of reaching lost souls for Jesus Christ. Once again, this strategy is geared toward reaching the un-churched in America today.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY As Perimeter Church moved into the 1990's, it took a bold step, constituting each of the five churches with each one remaining committed to starting perimeter churches around Atlanta. Each give 5 percent of its budget to a new congregation through Perimeter Ministries Incorporated. Still, its main purpose is to plant new congregations around the perimeter of Atlanta.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Remember I said, “It worked and it didn’t! Others tried it and they were successful?” Though the Perimeter experiment worked, today the mother church exists as the strongest of the five with some of the others having become automous.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY: 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE EXTENDED GEOGRAPHIC STRATEGY Yet, others followed this strategy in the late 1990’s and found tremendous success! Some call this strategy a “church planting strategy,” while others call it a “church expansion strategy.” Regardless, God has been honored and strong new churches have been started. It did work! It still does.

Seven Reasons to Start a Satellite or Multi-site Option: 

Seven Reasons to Start a Satellite or Multi-site Option To break the stalemate between remaining at the old site and relocation. a) Those who oppose abandoning a sacred site do not have to yield. b) Those who want new facilities on a larger site at a more strategic location, can also have their way. c) Both groups are winners; there are no losers.

Seven Reasons to Start a Satellite or Multisite Option: 

Seven Reasons to Start a Satellite or Multisite Option 2.To offer the possibility of reaching and serving a larger and more diverse group of people than could be achieved by concentrating all resources at only one place. 3.To have a larger membership that can provide the financial resources needed to purchase land and construct new buildings.

Seven Reasons to Start a Satellite or Multisite Option: 

Seven Reasons to Start a Satellite or Multisite Option 4.To retain the advantage of a large and competent staff, a large cadre of volunteer leaders, and the institutional strength of a big church for implementing ministry. 5.To offer a broader range of choices than either could if the decision had been made to divide. 6.To expand physical facilities. 7.To create a vacuum that challenges more people to serve in leadership roles.

Some Guidelines to Utilizing the Multi-site Option: 

Some Guidelines to Utilizing the Multi-site Option *Have only one governing board, one set of administrative committees, one budget, one treasury, one staff, one senior minister, and one definition of purpose and role. *If two sites, this usually means the senior minister will preach at both places on at least 35 Sunday mornings every year.

Some Guidelines to Utilizing the Multi-site Option: 

Some Guidelines to Utilizing the Multi-site Option *Neither site should be perceived as “second-class.” *Determine the number of sites that the congregation and staff can handle.

Seven Variations of the Multisite Option: 

Seven Variations of the Multisite Option 1.The Downtown Church - satellite is only a preaching point, not a seven-day-a-week ministry center. 2.The Urban Church - has two, three or four off-campus meeting places. 3.The use of a satellite as one step in an extended relocation process.

Seven Variations of the Multisite Option: 

Seven Variations of the Multisite Option 4.The predominantly black, central-city congregation and the predominantly Anglo, suburban congregation. 5. As a product of the Key Church Strategy. 6. As an expression of the large congregation caring for wounded birds. 7. As a practical strategy for “mothering” a new mission.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 1. Perimeter Example - Atlanta, GA Design: one congregation, one senior minister, one budget, one treasury, and several meeting places. Began in 1977 when Randy Pope was called by the Presbyterian Church in America to plant a new mission on the north side of Atlanta. By 1993, the church had six locations with plans being finalized to plant a seventh in Buckhead and an eighth in Atlanta.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 1. Perimeter Example - Atlanta, GA _ Created a corporation in 1990 called Perimeter Ministries International (PMI). It is an outreach mission of these churches. It has three objectives: A. To plant and nurture healthy churches reaching a variety of socioeconomic and ethnic groups, both here and abroad.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 1. Perimeter Example - Atlanta, GA B. To unite the resources of each member church to make an impact on culture by ministering to the under-resourced people of Atlanta, targeting groups that shape the social, economic, political structures of our society. C. To resource existing churches with materials, ideas and training for effective ministry.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 2.An Ohio Example - Columbus, OH By mid 1980's, First Community Church had many assets, but needed to relocate. Decision to relocate was voted down three times. In 1990, presented new plan: renovate the old site and start new site.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 2.An Ohio Example - Columbus, OH Lessons learned by Ohio: Count the support of those willing to invest their time, energy, creativity, and money on a new tomorrow. Proposals for radical change often must be presented several times before they are implemented.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 2.An Ohio Example - Columbus, OH Lessons learned by Ohio: Love for the old, sacred place, the hope to perpetuate the past, and the preference for modest changes can be powerful, motivating forces! Having multiple sites can create a “win-win” situation. Only in the existence of a widely perceived crisis, is it easy to move fast.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 2.An Ohio Example - Columbus, OH Lessons learned by Ohio: Nostalgia, the past, feelings, and emotion often are more influential motivators than logic, reason and a concern for the future. To reach new generations, invite them to help pioneer new ministries at a new site in a new building that is not filled with traditions and precedents.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 2.An Ohio Example - Columbus, OH Lessons learned by Ohio: The importance of program staff rotating through both facilities. -- People learned to replace the word competition in their thinking about ministry with the word complement.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 3. A Texas Example - Houston, TX By early 1990's, First United Methodist Church had 14,000 members and a 27.4 acre site. In 1993, decided to start a separate site including: 9:00 service lead by senior minister with a traditional setting. 11:00 service lead by associate minister with a more contemporary setting that included drama, testimonies, contemporary music, and an informal setting.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 3. A Texas Example - Houston, TX Their ministry was motivated by: Strength; not weakness. (One of the largest downtown Protestant congregations on the North American continent.) Not by overcrowding, but by a desire to reach and serve people who would not come downtown to church. A compelling vision of a new model of ministry for a downtown church in a huge metropolitan area.

Examples of Multisite Option Churches : 

Examples of Multisite Option Churches 4. Two more facets of multi-site option: The stronger and more venturesome the congregation who initiates the design, the more likely it will arouse apposition from other ministers and denominational officials. The greater the resources available to the initiating church, the less likely it will be a significant diversion from the traditional ministry of that initiating congregation.

Multi-site ideas: 

Multi-site ideas What makes the multi-site unique? It is that it can use the existing church’s mentors and encouragers to support, encourage and organize volunteers of the new site. They can care for and train so new volunteers are more willing to serve.

Multi-site ideas: 

Multi-site ideas While the average member will drive longer distances to participate in celebration services of a large church, if they live more than 20 minutes away, they usually will be unwilling to serve and bring friends. The distance diminishes active participation.

Multi-site ideas: 

Multi-site ideas The multi-site church reaches out to produce more Christians and more mature Christians. The multi-site church has the strength of what used to be reserved for denominational churches, i.e., loyalty. Today, this same loyalty is found in the trusted brand of the same church in multiple locations (brand loyalty). Your new location becomes a trusted brand, while offering something new!

Multi-site ideas: 

Multi-site ideas The multi-site church begins with a fuller staff, as compared to most new launches. Planters are generalists, whereas multi-site launches offer specialists. Multi-site plants cost less, and staffing correctly enables both churches to reach more people for Christ! Both churches will be better organized than a new plant.

Multi-site ideas: 

Multi-site ideas The multi-site church offers excellence from the larger church, as well as celebrative expectation. Excellence will then flow both ways! Innovation from one will inspire the other. The technology is in place to deliver consistent teaching every week via video. Now the issue is, will our theology allow us to try something new?

Some Updated Modern Examples: 

Some Updated Modern Examples Dave Ferguson, Community Christian Church: Naperville, Romeoville, and Montgomery, Illinois. Total weekend attendance = 3,000+ Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church: South Barrington, McHenry, Wheaton and Rockford, Illinois. Total weekend attendance in off- campus sites = 3,500+!

Some Updated Modern Examples: 

Some Updated Modern Examples Andy Stanley, NorthPoint Community Church: Alpharetta, Buckhead and Cumming, Georgia. Total weekend attendance = 20,000+ Irwin McManus, Mosaic Church: Los Angeles, two high schools and one nightclub = 1,500+

Still Other Examples: 

Still Other Examples Life Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. St. Paul’s Lutheran, Aurora, Illinois. Fellowship Bible Church, Little Rock Arkansas. North Coast Community, Vista, California. Life Journey Christian Church, Bakersfield, California. Eastside Baptist Church, Marietta, Georgia. New Hope Church, Peachtree City, Georgia.

Ian Butain: 

Ian Butain The following is originally from Dr. Ian Butain, Nehemiah Professor of Church Planting, North American Mission Board, SBC:

Church Planting Methodologies:: 

The Satellite Model Church Planting Methodologies:

The Satellite Model: 

The Satellite Model Occurs when the mother ship sends out a probe… …Occurs when the mother ship sends out a probe…

The Satellite Model: 

The Satellite Model When the head office opens up a new branch.

The Satellite Model: 

The Satellite Model Occurs when a “mother” church duplicates itself in another location.

Characteristics of the Satellite Model:: 

Characteristics of the Satellite Model: Worship service is in a different location. Will sometimes “reinvent itself” at the new location. Will often attract pioneering leaders from the main campus.

Characteristics of the Satellite Model:: 

Characteristics of the Satellite Model: Often requires a senior pastor with tenure. Uses the same leadership, administration and budget. Requires excellent communication mechanisms.

Criticisms of the Satellite Model:: 

Criticisms of the Satellite Model: “Mother church, board, and pastor have control issues.” “It’s not really church planting.” “It’s just building somebody’s personal kingdom.” “It is dividing the church.”

Strengths of the Satellite Model:: 

Strengths of the Satellite Model: Satellite churches will meet the needs of different people. Satellite churches can try ‘new things’ without affecting members at the main campus. Satellite churches allow the mother to change at her own pace. The new church is able to borrow credibility from the mother.

Strengths of the Satellite Model:: 

Strengths of the Satellite Model: Satellite churches allow an older, ingrown church to fulfill the Great Commission. Satellite churches allow a church that is “cramped for space,” to continue to grow. Satellites can duplicate what works. Satellite churches may result in new churches.

Potential Weaknesses of this Model:: 

Potential Weaknesses of this Model: Satellite churches may result in the loss of key leaders, threatening the tenure of the lead pastor. Satellite churches may become a threat to the mother church. Satellite leadership may not be well represented in the decision-making process of the church.

Potential Weaknesses of this model:: 

Potential Weaknesses of this model: It is often difficult to maintain unity in the church. There is often a tendency to grow apart over time. Separation can be painful and messy.

Places to find other resources on Multi-site/ Satellite: 

Places to find other resources on Multi-site/ Satellite www.ChurchPlantingVillage.net www.leadnet.org/resources Leadership Journal Spring 2003 davel@communitychristianchurch.org www.newchurches.com

Critical Question: 

Critical Question Are you up to the challenge? Are you willing to branch out and try the multi-site church planting strategy?

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