Worship Facilities is part of the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

multisite, church, planning, volunteers

Multisite Planning Seeking the Secret Sauce' For Success

It is important to know what makes our service compelling, because that is what must get translated effectively across the yards or miles of separation that exists between your church's individual sites.

The nature of a worship service is very different from secular events like movies and rock concerts. There is, of course, a huge contrast in purpose and outcome between the two and the spirit of one is often the exact opposite of the other.

The reality is that every multisite church is totally dependent on live production techniques and skill.

Since live production techniques are simply that and can be applied in any environment, it is easy for techs to ignore these stark contrasts and focus on the production value. This is unhealthy, and leads to all kinds of conflict. It is also common for pastors and spiritual leaders to be uncomfortable with these techniques, overstate the differences, and lump production value in the pot of "worldliness."

The reality is that every multisite church is totally dependent on live production techniques and skill. That means that all parties need a healthy perspective on live production in the church to be successful. I think that perspective and successful multisite planning - starts where these two paths cross.

With all the differences between worship services and secular events, they have one essential ingredient that they share, and it's a big one. What they have in common at their core is critical to their respective success and must be wielded with discernment from the planning stages, right up through the event. That common denominator can be summed up in one word: compelling.

There is something about what is being presented on stage or platform that is compelling for others. There is something happening usually subconsciously - that attracts them, draws them in, and makes them want to engage in some way.

Any event that draws a crowd does so because something about that event is compelling. A growing church has compelling worship services. In some cases, the primary factor might be a pastor with charisma and strong preaching gifts. In others, it might be fantastic music and a spirit of dynamic worship.

Most growing churches probably have a blend of several qualities that come together to create a compelling experience. People who come into this environment are moved to turn their attention to Godly thoughts or even engage God in the moment. They make decisions to seek him and are inspired to draw closer to him because something about that service is compelling.

If we think of this compelling core as the "secret sauce" that brings success, we can apply it to every stage of our planning. In a multisite effort, it is important to know what makes our service compelling, because that is what must get translated effectively across the yards or miles of separation that exists between your church's individual sites. We don't need to spend all of our resources and energies to replicate every single quality of the broadcast service to each site just the ones that make that service compelling.

So as we plan for a new site, we can look at each element through this lens.
Venue Does the room and its capabilities, capacities, limitations, layout, and location allow us to reproduce or translate the compelling core of our service to that site?
Demographic Are the projected attendees similar enough in culture and expectations that they will find the same things compelling?
Systems Will AVL, streams, coms, etc. allow us to deliver the content in such a way that the result is as compelling as the broadcast campus experience?
Personnel Are staff and volunteers on the same page with the same focus and trained in the same ways as the broadcast campus team? Are they aware of the "secret sauce?"
Executables Have we set our standards, SOPs, communication processes and success measurement for the site with a view for reproducing that compelling core?

It is obvious that before we can plan our multisite effort through this lens, we must make a thoughtful, clear assessment of what exactly it is that makes our services compelling. I would encourage you to take your time doing this. You'll probably find that most people who actually produce compelling content do so instinctively and can't or won't explain. Much counsel is needed with the wisest, most discerning people you know. Most importantly, the whole process needs to be bathed in prayer, because you are not only trying to understand things that are an expression of others' subconscious, you are seeking to discern deep things that are hidden away in spiritual places as well.

Finally, I encourage you to resist the urge to use this exercise of "what makes this service compelling?" as your only lens for assessment. After all, a little secret sauce goes a long way.

 

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish