What is a multi-site church?
A multi-site church is one church meeting in multiple locations—different rooms on the same campus, different locations in the same region, or in some instances, different cities, states, or nations. A multi-site church shares a common vision, budget, leadership, and board.
What does a multi-site church look like?
A multi-site church can resemble any of a wide variety of models. For some churches, having multiple sites involves only a worship service at each location; for others, each location has a full range of support ministries. Some churches use video-cast sermons (recorded or live); others have in-person teaching on-site. Some churches maintain a similar worship atmosphere and style at all their campuses, and others allow or invite variation.
What kind of church uses the multi-site approach?
The multi-site approach works best for already growing churches but is used by all types of churches. The majority of multi-site churches are suburban, but many can be found in urban contexts and some in rural contexts. Multi-sites are found among old churches and new, mainline and nondenominational, and in all regions of the country. Smaller churches (30-200 people) tend to do multi-site as a niche outreach or as a regional-campus approach. Medium-size churches (200-800 people) that go multi-site tend to have only two or three campuses. Larger churches (800-2,000 people) and megachurches (2,000 people and up) are the most likely to be multi-site and to do it in a way that develops a large network of campuses.
Why become multi-site?
The purpose of becoming a multi-site church is to make more and better disciples by bring the church closer to where people are. The motivation is to do a better job of loving people, including different types of people, with an outcome of making significant advances in obeying Jesus’ Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-40) and Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20).
How long do multi-site churches last?
Several churches have been multi-site for up to twenty years, and a handful for even longer. Some churches use a multi-site approach as a transitional strategy during a building program or a seasonal outreach. Other churches intentionally choose to be multi-site only temporarily as a church-planting strategy to help new congregations start out strong.