With many churches across the globe turning towards multi-site leadership, you may have found yourself considering taking the plunge. Read this guide to learn the top 5 reasons that we believe it’s a positive move, and 1 reason we can think of to reconsider.
1. Widen The Spiritual Reach
Starting a new campus for your church will immediately see an incredible increase in its spiritual reach. By connecting with a bigger selection of members, your church community will expand, and so will the scope for volunteers and workers. This way, many churches have found their environments to become more dynamic and diverse, as an active and engaged community is cultivated.
Opening your arms (and your church) to more attendees will see a jump in the number of volunteers. The ability to funnel motivated and passionate members of your church into leadership positions at a new campus will maximize engagement, whilst ensuring that a strong core of workers is taking the lead at the new site.
2. Keeping Members Even When They Move
A lot of churches will have experienced committed church members switching to a new church after moving house. Maybe the distance has become that little bit too long to justify the weekly travel. But, what if there was an alternate campus, in the next town or city along? Congregants could simply switch campuses, as the majority of Americans don’t travel more than 15 minutes for their Sunday services.
The beauty of having an extended network of campuses within your ministry is that you will all be able to connect in larger group events too! For festivals and fundraisers, celebrations and ceremonies, you can call on the greater group to attend, inciting a real feel of close community. A multi-site church structure like this can enhance feelings of faith, whilst boosting morale and support networks.
3. Consistent Digital Messaging
Impressive digital tools are now at our fingertips, which makes sharing resources across multiple sites easier than ever! Investing in the right equipment is key here, to ensure that every single member is receiving consistent messaging, and no one will be left unsatisfied. Just make sure that personnel are sufficiently trained, and streaming services can be as powerful as in person, if not more.
While the most successful campuses would involve hybridization of video engagement as well as in-person discussions and groups, church multi-site streaming allows for a sense of connectedness. Rather than just endlessly replaying old and archived videos that can start to feel stale, why not live broadcast certain aspects, and get more conversation flowing between the campuses.
4. Increased Tithing Opportunities
A larger congregation means increased opportunities for donations, which can help to counteract the fear of financial commitment. Whilst opening up a new campus will of course mean greater spending, we see it as more of an investment. Taking the time and resources to help in the spreading of the word of God, will surely pay for itself.
5. Church Planting
Not every church campus needs to lead to church planting, but it will be a lot easier if that’s the choice your church wants to make. Satellite campuses can help you to test out the location before committing to an autonomous congregation there. Whilst they are a different story to a multi-campus church, some see independence and centralized leadership as paramount.
Now… Why Not? – Considering Costs
The overpowering question on the minds of most ministries? Money. We can’t ignore the costs and risks of opening a new campus either, as if it isn’t successful, it can be a financial bust for some churches. However, proper training for staff and volunteers will increase productivity, reliability, and consistency, no matter where those workers are. So, we believe it would be a wise investment regardless; a passionate and well-trained team is one of the most efficient ways to ensure success.
To start with, some of the most popular, low-cost locations for new campuses are at schools and theatres. Typically low-risk too, these spots can often be used with little-to-no rent costs, making them great starting points if you don’t require 24/7 access. Some also opt for a portable church on wheels, to enable visits to those who can’t travel themselves. If you can nail a quick setup, then this method means that any location can act as a home for your church!
In our recent interview with Michelle from Hope Community Church, we learned that they see their online engagement as a separate campus in its own right. As more is shifted online, we can embrace the benefits that this offers us, in terms of no rental costs and unlimited reach. While you might not feel comfortable with the detachment that this could bring, online sermons and streaming access are increasingly being used across the country as an additional supplement.
Despite the potential risks, we believe that there is little reason not to choose to open a new campus. From the increased excitement that accompanies a wider reach, to the quality engagement that comes when resources are accessible, the benefits of opening the arms and hearts of your church (and its members) are huge.