5000+ Churches, All In Multiple Locations

The blogosphere is blowing up this week with the release of Leadership Network’s new report that there are more than 5000 MultiSite churches in North America. Author Warren Bird clarifies that to be considered MultiSite a church would have two or more geographic campuses… and even used a variant the oft-cast catchphrase “one church in multiple locations.”

While the success rate of MultiSite launches is stunning as compared to church plants (estimated at higher than 90%), Auxano is beginning to work with more and more churches who are quickly realizing that being MultiSite takes much more than just hiring a campus pastor, launching a campus, and setting up a video feed.

The ever-growing reality is that MultiSite campuses exist as a combination of a shared “Church DNA” (or vision) and a localized “Campus Personality” (or context). The degree to which the vision and context are blended, executed, or emphasized – whether by intent or accident – becomes the basis of each church’s ministry or the genesis of their misery.

However, no blend of context can make up for a lack of vision clarity. Many churches launch into being “one church, multiple locations” without having an agreed upon understanding of what the one church looks like to begin with.

Throw into the mix the revelation that more and more of the MultiSite growth we are seeing is coming from merging an existing, often struggling or dying, church as a campus exponentially increases the level of clarity complexity.

Everyone comes to the table in MultiSite with their view of what the campus/church should be or do, so having clear understanding of these 5 questions from the Vision Frame is critical for every MultiSite church at every stage:

  • What Do We Do? (or our Missional Mandate*)
  • Why Do We Do What We Do? (or our Missional Motives*)
  • How Do We Do It? (or our Missional Map*)
  • When Are We Successful? (or our Missional Marks*)
  • Where Are We Going? (or our Missional Mountaintops & Milestones*)

To learn more about the Vision Frame, you can request a copy of the Church Unique Visual Summary. In the meantime, what has been your MultiSite experience? Is “one church, multiple locations” a reality for you? Why or why not?

*from Church Unique by Will Mancini