Multi-site as a Church Planting Model?
[tentblogger-vimeo 13082622] The video above was one of many instigators causing our staff to begin discussing the idea of planting a church in a nearby city. (It was also just another example of why I find Mark Driscoll and James McDonald annoying, to put it lightly) The initial idea of a church plant was greeted with excitement and enthusiasm. The question that quickly arose from this though was 'how is this going to look'?
There are numerous ways to go about planting a church: merging with an existing church, taking over a church that is dying out, renting space and starting from scratch, letting the church plant begin as a satellite campus, and many more. We wrestled with these ideas for quite some time and talked through them in depth. Each 'model' has its pros and cons, none are perfect.
In the end we decided to start the church plant as a satellite campus. We believe this benefits us as a collective body in a few ways:
- United vision from the start
- The ability to share resources and support the new congregation financially
- The ability to train more lay leaders and send them into new roles
- The ability for the satellite campus to become autonomous once they become stable (This was the key for me. Using multi-site as a church planting mechanism.)
Think of it as an incubator type approach. This 'model' isn't new, it's not unique but we think it gives us the best opportunity to succeed in bringing a Gospel-centered church to a town that needs to hear the Gospel.
We're still in the planning stages of this church plant. We don't know where we're going to meet, what the culture is going to be like, or who the campus pastor is going to be. What we do know is that God is leading us in this direction and we're eager to see what he has in store.
I'm glad we're taking the approach that this site will eventually become an autonomous church body. Our desire is to make disciples that make disciples. Church planting is one way that we want to accomplish this goal. We don't want to be a huge congregation, we don't assume that we've got all the answers.
I'm not alone in my wariness of multi-site conglomerate churches. I have my own opinions on those, which I'll save for another post. In the meantime you should check out this article from an author who thinks that multi-site churches are the devil. I don't agree with everything he says but I do think he raises some concerns that people need to consider when discussing multi-site church.
What are your thoughts on multi-site churches? How would you go about planting a new church? Let me know in the comments!