Multiplication Center

3 Keys to Maximizing Multisite Leadership Capacity

January 22, 2015

Multisite-HeaderWelcome to the second in our series of posts addressing critical success factors for multisite impact.  If you’re just joining in, you can read the introductory post here.  Today’s post will deal with the first and arguably greatest factor that impacts the success of every multisite church – leadership.  The remaining success factors will be addressed in the weeks ahead.

If you’ve been a leader for any length of time, you understand the importance of maintaining proper organizational leadership capacity.  In order for your church to extend its reach and impact through multisite, you need to spend as much time developing future leadership capacity as you do maintaining current leadership quality.  Our experience from working with hundreds of multisite churches for more than a decade has revealed three key components of a healthy campus leadership strategy:

Developing Campus Pastor Leadership

Campus pastors serve as the “face with the place” for multisite locations. Almost all multisite campuses have a staff person who is focused on that particular campus, making sure the people there are pastored, discipled and trained.  According to Leadership Network’s survey, 82% of multisite campuses have such a pastor (whether paid or volunteer) who devotes at least 3/4 time to that location. The percentage increases with the overall size of the church: so for those with 5,000 or more in total attendance, 92% have a campus pastor of ¾ time or more, and for those less than 1,000 in attendance, 76% had a campus pastor of ¾ time or more.  Not only is the campus pastor role critical to the success of each individual campus, for churches that have a comprehensive leadership development strategy, the campus pastor position also represents a key step along the path for global leadership development.  Multisite leaders must constantly identify and assess campus pastor role needs, and develop capacity to meet those needs.


“The campus pastor position is critical. Our campus pastors must have unwavering loyalty to the lead pastor, be sold out on the vision, purpose, mission of the church, have the ability to connect with congregation and develop leaders.”

Building  Campus Staff Teams 

Following the development of campus pastor leadership, multisite leaders must create an effective strategy for building campus staff teams.  Centered around the campus pastor, campus staff teams facilitate the consistent execution of the church-wide mission and vision at the local level.  Models for and makeup of campus teams vary according to overall church culture and strategy, specifics of each unique ministry environment, and the current stage of a campus’ lifecycle.  Leaders must also have a clear understanding of lines of authority and influence throughout the church to ensure proper development and resourcing of these teams.  According to the Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard, typical roles at launch include a worship leader (62%), children’s leader (46%), administrative assistant (28%), technical/production director (19%),  and youth leader (17%).

Maximizing Campus Leadership Capacity by Developing People 


88% of churches report that going multisite increased the role of lay participation.  This is a critical element for churches that want to succeed through multisite.  But lay participation doesn’t automatically increase when locations are added.  Systems and structures must be in place to identify, develop, release and support people in various ministry roles.  Perhaps more importantly, a culture of equipping must exist for those systems and structures to function and thrive.  This kind of culture begins with the core leadership team and requires a significant investment of resources and focus.  Everyone, regardless of their role, must see ‘developing people’ as a priority.  And keep this in mind: 87% of multisite churches develop campus pastors from within.  For many that journey begins when an existing leader identifies the leadership potential in a member at their campus, invites them into ministry, and invests in their ongoing development.

How Can I Create a Strategy that Addresses Leadership Development in Multisite?

If you are really looking to maximize your multisite reach and impact through a sustainable leadership development strategy, you need to be a part of HUB.  HUB is a new offering from Leadership Network that launches in March of 2015.  Through this dynamic, collaborative 12-month experience, we will be diving into each of these areas with churches across North America, giving you a chance to meet with expert thinkers and experienced practitioners to exchange ideas, gain insights, and accelerate results.  To learn more about HUB, click on the button below.



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