Campus Pastor Tool Kit: The Business Plan


Since this Campus Pastor Tool is a business plan, I will cut right to the bottom line:

You need one. 

Every successful initiative starts with a well though-out execution strategy. Launching a Multisite Church campus is no exception. A business plan is really just counting the cost and being responsible in discernment. Remember the reminder of Proverbs 16:9: we make the plans, but God directs the steps.

Good planning is good stewardship.

Go ahead and fire up excel and pull out those demographic reports to create a common business tool that is used to evaluate and develop new projects: the SWOT Analysis. Developing a SWOT Analysis forces you beyond being excited about an idea into some serious wrestling around a calling.

Simply put, a SWOT analysis for a multisite launch asks four primary questions:

STRENGTHS  What are the immediate advantages we have in launching a campus now?

This is a church-focused look at the “pros” or needs and might include:

  • shared vision and alignment around Church DNA or your Vision Frame
  • shared values and priorities for ministry
  • clear understanding of the mission
  • current campus limitations and disadvantages
  • a developed strategy of assimilation and making disciples
  • lists of church attenders currently within 15 minute drive of possible locations


WEAKNESSES  What are the present, but over-comeable, disadvantages of launching a campus now?

This is a church-focused look at the “cons” or challenges and might include:

  • current giving to budget patterns
  • current giving per capita or family unit at primary campus
  • projected giving rates as compared to growth and expenses
  • additional operation and overhead costs
  • budget allocation in ministries
  • ministry practices that could transfer, programs that cannot be transferred
  • current staff allocation and future campus needs
  • ramifications of sending a core group out from current congregation
  • ability for church to remain unified over different locations


OPPORTUNITIES What is the potential Kingdom impact of our mission lived-out through this campus?

This is an external, community-focused look at what could be and might include:

  • area demographics as related to our current campus demographics
  • population of the unchurched or unattached according to statistics and research
  • comparison of median salary rate at current and future locations
  • specific affinities or preferences of the people and your calling to meet or match them
  • current number rooftops in the area and the growth projections of surrounding neighborhoods
  • businesses and other community entities that offer a springboard for outreach
  • driving distance between campuses and the impact of missional effort in the campus area


THREATS  What are the immediate challenges we face that require strategic planning and definitive leadership?

This is an external, look at the problems we will most likely face and their solution that might include topics like:

  • facility challenges – capacity, parking, layout, access, visibility
  • equipment and portability requirements
  • core launch team development
  • community saturation of new or emerging congregations
  • cultural disadvantages to your style or transplanted demographic
  • misappropriation of vision in members seeing the campus launch as the vision, not as a tool in achieving the vision

Here are some helpful links or places to look that can help you mine for some of the information above, that your church administrator or bookkeeper might not already have:

Melissa Data

Precept Group

2010 Census

Barna Group

Portable Church Industries

Local Chamber of Commerce

State or Regional Denominational Resources

So, Do Your Homework. Struggle with a business plan, evaluate demographics, and count the cost, God is big enough to speak in spreadsheets.

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