How a multi-site church creates more opportunities for community impact
Christ Fellowship is a multi-site church. That means we are one church family meeting in multiple locations across our region. We currently average around 30,000 people in all of our combined campuses. Before you begin to revel in our fruit, I want you to understand why we worked so hard to pioneer a new way of doing church.
One of the major roles of the American church must be the reformation of our great nation. We started down the arduous path of multi-site development knowing that would help us mobilize a vast army of compassion, which could impact on our region.
No one cares about our politics or moral issues until they know we love them. The
multi-site model creates more outreach opportunities and makes us more aware of the broader needs of our community, allowing us to serve in a more strategic and thoughtful way.
As our people step out to serve others in loving compassion, more doors are opening for us to have greater influence. For example, when we saw that the foster care system in our area needed help, we established the Place of Hope children’s home. Because of the widespread impact of this faith-based program to care for abused and abandoned children, we are now able to speak into the entire foster care system and offer positive contributions on the local, state and national levels.
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How to start a social media conversation about what God is doing in your church
Spiritual-growth campaigns have always been a powerful way to move a church forward. But now, with the rapid adoption of social media by people in the pews, there’s never been a greater opportunity to create, stimulate and propagate a conversation among your people about what God is doing in their midst. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a myriad of other online social networks are examples of how technology is helping our culture catch up with God’s original plan for His good news to be carried via interpersonal communication.
God’s good news spreads farthest and fastest through personal connections and conversations. But because growth happens with intentional focus, you will need a strategy for empowering people to further the conversation with their friends—whether you are simply beginning a new message series or launching a full-blown campaign on the scale of “What on Earth Am I Here For?”
Here are some strategic actions to consider:
When a Georgia pastor created a ‘tithing ATM’ for his church, giving increased—as did the ethical questions.
How to find the right technology to launch and sustain growth
According to a 2010 survey conducted by Leadership Network, more than 5 million people attend a multisite campus church in North America. In fact, more people attend multisite churches than megachurches.
Much of this movement is possible because of technology. Internet technology enables churches to stream video in a variety of ways, making it possible for churches to replicate all or part of their main church’s service to additional locations.
When consulting with churches, Jim Tomberlin, a multisite church strategist and founder of MultiSite Solutions (multisitesolutions .com), often begins by offering some important up-front education: “First of all, churches need to know that at least half of their startup costs will be in the technology area. Second, a church that is considering multisite has to decide how it wants to deliver its teaching content: through live in-person at each campus or by video.”
During a Sunday worship service, a gunman walked unnoticed into a church in a small town in the Midwest. Inside the sanctuary, he shot and killed the pastor. For weeks, TV crews, photographers and reporters camped out in the small town as the church leaders and congregation struggled to deal with their loss and personal trauma of the tragedy.
Faulty wiring ignited a fire that burned down a 100-year-old church in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area. No one was injured, but the congregation was left without a permanent facility where they could worship and carry out their ministry.
The respected pastor of an urban megachurch confessed to an extramarital affair and stepped down from his leadership role, leaving the congregation and church leaders to face the consequences of his moral failure.