Multi-site is the rage all across the United States and has been growing for the last 25 + years, from10 multisite churches in 1990 to more than 5,000 multisite churches in 2012.

While there are several models of Multi-Site Church, the franchise model, Hub & Spoke, etc., some with video feed, others with live teaching. Each model having it’s own strengths and weaknesses. There is no question that the multi-site craze has impacted the Church in the United States.

There are a number of benefits to the multi-site model, one, is greater stewardship. A well implemented multi-site strategy can lead to economies of scale and free up financial resources for Kingdom impact. For example a typical church of 2,000 people would normally require a staff of 20-30 people. A multi-site church of the same size would only need a staff of 8-10 people. This is made possible through the Central Team that serve the administrative needs of multiple campus’ creating the economies of scale.

A second benefit is the development of a leadership engine. Multi-Site models require a steady flow of new leaders to continue to grow the model, the most important are Campus Pastors & Associate Campus Pastor roles. Churches who have growing multi-site churches have mastered the leadership development challenge.

Multi-site churches have the potential for even greater impact if we are open to expanding our vision of how God can use the model. What if we expand our vision of multi-site church and add a dimension that is beyond the development of our own brand & direct influence? What if we use our multi-site model not only to develop managers and implementers of the vision of another, but we also see it as a training ground for visionary, catalytic and multiplying leaders, a system that develops Lead Pastors?

The roles of Associate Campus Pastor & Campus Pastor can be seen with a broader lens, as a role where we train Campus Pastors to become church planters and lead Pastors? What if were see the role where Campus Pastor’s practice the skills and develop strategies to help people who are far from God come into relationship with Jesus, disciple and mentor them until they are leaders in the Church reaching and developing others?

This would require some fresh vision and maybe even some new wineskins. It would enable the most effective multi-site churches to use their leadership engine and surplus financial resources to launch other Churches in areas beyond their effective reach.

In summary there is room for a larger vision of multi-site church, one that goes beyond growing our own church to seeing it as an effective engine to help reach the culture, see more people reached with the Gospel and independent Churches launched across the US, ultimately seeing more people move from lost to leading.

By: Rick Dunn