Multisite churches seem to be popping up everywhere these days. From mega-churches in the Northeast, Texas and California to the countless churches in the South and Midwest that number a few hundred people, the multisite model is being utilized to draw more people in and attempt to answer the call of the Great Commission.
Multisite churches have, for the majority, had positive results.
They tend to reach and baptize more people than single-site churches, and research even shows that multisite churches have more success with recruiting and developing volunteers than their single-site counterparts.
So why aren't all churches going the route of multisite? Taking on multiple campuses can put a major strain on a senior pastor, and simply stretch the staff too thin. Also, without adequate programs in place to develop future pastors and teachers, multisite campuses could end up simply being overflow rooms that happen to exist in a different geographical location than the main campus.
Overflow rooms generally do not energize and excite communities, and this is a very real problem for multisite venues that are not properly staffed and led.
Is multisite the way to go for your church?
Perhaps that depends on the reason or reasons that your church leadership is considering the model. If the main thrust behind going multisite is to simply expand the reach of a certain church or pastor, it is likely that this church will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the community that it is attempting to serve.
On the other hand, if the church is fully committed to simply serving the community, reaching lost people and growing them into fully devoted followers of Christ, then that church's attempts at multisite will be embraced and even celebrated by the community. People do not want to be a part of an "overflow room." They want to be a part of something vibrant, thriving and meaningful.
Multisite ministry can happen in a variety of ways.
Whether churches use the traditional method, use church planting, use mergers with other churches or a combination of some or all of these options, churches need to be sure that they are in a place to offer help through all of their facilities. This not only includes the ability to continually produce ministry leaders and teachers, but also the ability to get church-goers involved in ministry. In addition, a ministry must run multiple facilities in a financially feasible, almost businesslike manner. Without manpower, vision and leadership to achieve these goals a multisite model will not work effectively.