This week in our new series "Frequently Asked Questions about Multisite Churches," we start digging a little deeper into what a multisite church looks like and what the advantages/disadvantages are for this type of church. One thing is for certain, it is not a "one size fits all" concept. Multisite churches come in all shapes and sizes that are tailored for their particular ministry.
What kind of church uses the multisite approach?
The multisite approach works best for already growing churches but is used by all types of churches. The majority of multisite churches are suburban, but many can be found in urban contexts and some in rural contexts. Multisites are found among old churches and new, mainline and nondenominational, and in all regions of the country. Smaller churches (930-200 people) tend to do multisite as a niche outreach or as a regional-campus approach. Medium-size churches (200-800 people) that go multisite 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 multisite and to do it in a way that develops a large network of campuses.
Why become multisite?
The purpose of becoming a multisite church is to make more and better disciples by bringing 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). Churches report that conversion growth is greater on their extension campuses than at the original campus.
What are the advantages of a multisite church?
- Assists in reaching friends and family unwilling to travel a great distance to church
- Brings together the best aspects of larger churches and smaller churches
- Increases the total number of available seats during optimal worship times
- Overcomes geographic barriers when a church facility is landlocked or tightly zoned
- Enables untapped talent to emerge each time a new venue or site is opened
- Mobilizes volunteers through an added variety of ministry opportunities
- Improves a church’s stewardship of funds and resources
- Enables a church to extend itself into smaller niches
- Models and trains people for church planting elsewhere
- Provides a pipeline for the development of emerging leaders and future staff
What are the disadvantages of a multisite church?
Going multisite can stretch the budget, invite criticism from other churches, and make new demands on church leadership; therefore, to be successful, it is vital that the key leaders of the church be unified and enthusiastic about the decision to go multisite.
Looking for additional information? Please be sure to visit our Multisite Resources page for extensive list of resources such as books, concept papers and blogs.