By Dr. Josh Whitehead
Although multisite is a “new normal” among churches, launching your first campus is anything but “normal.” In reality, there are few comparisons to preparing to launch your first campus. I hear many churches say, “We’re going to launch our first campus when we get everything in our ministry ready.” These churches are most often like the couples who say, “We are going to have our first child when we feel ready.” We all know … they will never have that first child!
Multisite isn’t about being “ready.” Just like having your first child – you’ll never truly be ready. However, with a little help, every couple knows that there are some simple steps of preparation when planning for the arrival of your first child — preparing the nursery, buying a car seat, etc. Multisite is the same. Your church will never be “ready.” But, your church can be prepared!
Over the past several years, Leadership Network has partnered with multiple cohorts of churches to get them prepared to launch their first campus. And, on that journey, we have uncovered some critical steps that need to be processed before launching your first campus.
So, what are a few of the things that leaders need to prepare for?
- Clarifying your Church’s Vision, DNA, Culture & Ministries. Churches that successfully launch their first campus start with a clear vision, reproducible DNA and a healthy staff culture and ministries. These are the bedrocks of a first campus launch, and they have to be solidified if you are going to be a successful multisite church.
- Determining your Content Delivery Method. There are so many different models for delivering content, but the key is finding the right model for your church. No matter which model you choose, you have to create a support structure and strategy to ensure the future success of your method.
- Determining Potential Launch Communities. You likely have all the information you need to determine the best locations for you to consider. It’s not guess-work — it’s database work! If you have a church database, you know where people who attend your church live, and the likelihood that they will attend and support your multisite locations in the future.
- Establishing a Potential Launch Budget. The cost of launching your first campus can vary drastically. It all depends on the strategy that will work in your community – and whether it’s in a portable or permanent location. We’ll guide you through preparing a launch budget and even give you copies of those used by some of today’s most successful multisite churches.
At Leadership Network, we have identified 18 areas that church leaders need to address to launch their first multisite location successfully. We’ve even turned those steps into a new resource that will be available this September called the Multisite JumpStart Launch Guide – a tool created to help church leaders strategically prepare their church to launch their first multisite location over a period of 12-18 months. And, we are launching a new experience to equip you to launch your first location calledwhich will guide you through the areas you need to understand and also connect you with church leaders from around the country to give you a greater multisite perspective. Although we believe you can do it, we don’t believe you can do it alone!
Beginning with our first meeting September 20-22, 2016, this three meeting process will be held at churches across the US, allowing you the opportunity to engage with other church leaders on the same journey and also see a new church ministry — all in the same experience.
If you are launching your first multisite location in the next 12-18 months, the HUB:Multisite JumpStart group experience can help guide your church through that process. Fill out the contact form page, to set up an appointment about your church learning to launch its first campus — successfully!