Multiplication Center

Leaders & Readers: Geoff Surratt

November 11, 2010

Geoff Surratt speaks on Leaders & Readers about multi-site churches and to partly provide comic relief. This live-blog includes highlights and sound bites from his live talk:

  • Geoff tells story of how Seacoast Church become one church in multiple locations.
  • Growth was fast and Seacoast needed to build another auditorium but couldn’t because of issues with town council.
  • The idea of multisite was born out of necessity and Geoff and Sr Pastor Greg Surratt kicked around the idea of video venues. 
  • Geoff visited NorthPoint in Atlanta and knew that video would work.
  • Seacoast launched 2 campuses in 2002. Seacoast now has 13 sites, with the 14 opening this December.
  • Geoff, along with Warren Bird and Greg Ligon, began to chronicle the multisite movement in their multisites books. In Roadtrip, they highlighted the trends happening around the world.
  • Multisite churches come in all kinds of sizes and shapes
  • Many church planters are planting with the additional vision of going multisite. 
  • Multisite churches are MORE likely to plant churches. Why not plant, instead of go multisite is a common question. Many are doing both. Multisite churches are multiplying churches and developing church planting networks.
  • Multisite churches more and more are becoming externally focused. Healing Place is a great example of this. 
  • Multisite is becoming a Global Strategy.
  • Multisite churches are bringing new life to dying congregations.
  • Multisite is not for everyone or every church. It’s not one size fits all. 
  • Multisite is changing the face of the church around the world.

Geoff mentioned the latest free report from Leadership Network, “Multisite Is Multiplying: New Developments in the Movement’s Expansion“. A must download!

In follow-up conversation with Greg Ligon:

  • A top stupid thing churches do when trying to go multi-site is choosing the wrong leader.
  • … have to have a driving passion for multisite. It’s a mistake to just ‘add on’ a multisite. You have to determine if this is what God is calling you to do. Ask yourself, how will it impact your existing church? This is an important consideration.
  • As churches are adding multi-site [locations] to what they’re doing, church WITH multi-sites to churches OF multi-sites. 
  • “Is video teaching for someone with a big ego?” Geoff hasn’t experienced that. Over and over, Geoff has discovered that the primary driver for multi-site is evangelism. The leaders believe it’s a Biblical mandate to proclaim the Gospel. Driscoll is quoted about multi-site being missional rather than a commentary of ecclesiology. People are connecting because of the local campus, not so much because of the person teaching on the video.
  • About internet campuses, it’s a way to being a neighborhood and community to the people who “live” online.

In the green room discussion, 

  • Sam Chand asked Geoff about future trend? Geoff comments that a new trend is how multi-sites can lower the bar of launching, and leaders can be lay non-staff and/or bi-vocational.. financial model is much more sustainable.. moving quicker..
  • Ed Stetzer asked if there are there negative unintended consequences? Geoff mentions 2 of them: some multi-sites are not developing leaders or not planting new churches.

Also, check out the Multi-site Church blog.

About the author

Geoff Surratt is Pastor of Ministries at Seacoast Church, a multi-site congregation based in Charleston, South Carolina. Geoff has over twenty-seven years of ministry experience in a variety of roles in local churches. Geoff authored Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing: How Leaders Can Overcome Costly Mistakes as well as co-author of The Multisite Church Revolution and A Multi-site Church Road Trip: Exploring the New Normal

Missed the live event? Watch it online, at your convienience, as often as you want for only $49.99 by following these instructions.

Recent Articles