Multiplication Center

Multisite: Next Decade – Avoiding the Dumb Tax (Part 3)

July 30, 2012


It's time again for another installment of Multisite: Next Decade – Avoiding the Dumb Tax (Part 3).  This week we learn how Manna Church, New Life Community Church and North Coast Church answer the question, “What are the things that you didn't know when you started and that you do know now and how did you learn them?”  Join me as we gather some insight into their ministries and the knowledge they have gathered along the way.


Manna Church

1.  Importance of central support once you go to more than three to four sites. (participation in Leadership Network Multisite Lab)
2.  We didn’t completely understand the importance of well skilled and trained AV people.   We understood it was important but realized in time how glitches in a video venue are magnified. (trial and error)
3.  The importance of having a solid launch strategy that would help us to create instant “critical mass” at our new sites.   Could have had a greater buy in by our church members. (research and the book, Multi-Site Churches by McConnell) 
4.  We had to work out in time “the chain of command”, meaning the relationship between the Site Pastor (authority at site) and our Coaches (influence in their specific ministry lane).  We had clear lines drawn ahead of time but again it took time to work it out. I initiated several conversations over the phone with some Seacoast Site Pastors and picked their brains. Finding that “sweet spot” took some time and some conversations among staff. (research)
5.  Challenges in creating an individual site budget and managing it.  Technically every site has a budget but there are too many layers in making certain purchases.  Less centralized control, more site autonomy in making purchases that have been approved budget. (trial and error)
6.  Importance and the role/responsibilities of a Site Pastor.  Had read the two most important factors are leader and location and understood that the Site Pastor is “the face to the place” but it took time to define in more detail, what a Site Pastor’s job and responsibilities are. (books, research and trial and error)
7. When we started we didn’t know the challenges of having a quality Student Ministry at each site. We talked with other Site Pastors; read an article from Leadership Network that clued us into this is a common problem.  Not yet solved. (trial and error)


New Life Community Church

1. Didn't know how important central service- apart from the main campus would be. (trial and error)
2. Didn't know that restarting historic churches would be important to our urban strategy. (stumbled upon)
3. Didn't understand the importance of a shared message. (trial and error)
4. Didn't know the strategic value of starting a new location larger and better funded. (conducted research)


North Coast Church

1. Multi-site works for all ages and nearly all demographics. (stumbled upon)
2. Campuses need a “Big L” leader to succeed. It can’t be a lamb focused shepherd. (stumbled upon)
3. The profile of a successful campus pastor profile is virtually identical with a successful church planting pastor. (stumbled upon)
4. Theaters don’t work if your worship DNA emphasizes congregational participation. Great for teaching – horrible for participatory worship. (stumbled upon)
5. Good video teaching is not enough to keep people coming. (stumbled upon)
6. Demographic venues must pay attention to ambiance as much as music. If music and ambiance don’t match – it won’t work. (stumbled upon)
7. Demographic venues need more than an MC. (stumbled upon)


What about you?

Join the conversation by commenting and sharing your learnings so that others can avoid the multisite dumb tax.

Looking for additional resources?  To view all the posts in this series, please visit our Multisite Resource page here.  Also, check out these two great books…

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