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A few months ago I had the privilege of being one of the guest presenters at Leadership Networks Multi-site Innovation Lab.  During this two day experience eight multi-site churches gathered to develop a plan to move from a few sights to ten or more sites.  One of the questions that came up frequently in these two days was how to keep multi-site campuses unified toward the same vision when they’re so spread out.  At Seacoast we have thirteen campuses spread across three states so this is something we have to continually work on.  Here are a few things we’ve learned on our journey.   

Clarify your DNA.  Know you’re strengths and reproduce those.  For example one of the marks of Seacoast is the way we do our worship response time.  We went to great lengths to make sure each of our campuses reflect this aspect of who we are.  One of the biggest mistakes churches make when going multisite is launching a campus without thinking about who they really are and what they can truly replicate.  Once a campus launches it begins to take on an identify of it’s own that may not reflect the vision and values of the organization if careful attention isn’t given to shaping the DNA from the beginning.

Engage Each Campus in Evaluation and Innovation - Geoff Surratt who leads the Multisite efforts at Seacoast does an amazing job of engaging our campus pastors in conversations about critical issues regarding the future.  By bringing them into the discussions they feel apart of a team that executes the vision rather than hired hands who have to carry out the vision.  If you are hiring guys who are leaders as your campus pastors then they want to have a voice and be apart of the decision making process.  It has been fascinating over the years to watch how some of our outlaying campuses can impact the programs, schedule and feel of Seacoast.  Everything doesn’t just flow from the original campus anymore. All of our campuses are encouraged to share ideas and innovations.  Recently one of the biggest events we did all year long was initiated by one of our smallest campuses. 

Communicate regularlyShawn Wood who takes responsibility for communicating the details of the weekend experiences does an outstanding job sending regular communications to our campuses keeping them aware of scheduling and major events that are ahead during the year.  A lack of communication is one of the fastest ways to destroy a unified effort.  I love Maxwell’s statement about communication when he says, “People tend to be down on what they aren’t up on.”  Your outlaying campuses will begin to feel disconnected and disrespect if they are finding things out too late or after the fact.  To keep your sites unified put together good communication systems. 

Meet Consistently – Every month we have an All Staff meeting where all staff members from all campuses join together for a half day of meetings.  This day goes a long way in pulling us all together and keeping us all on the same page.  Our schedule for the day is as follows:

  • 9:30-11 Ministry Meetings.  Small groups, missions, first touch, students, children, worship, administrative assistants and campus pastors all have meetings where they discuss issues related to their ministry.
  • 11-12:15 Celebration.  During this time we worship together, celebrate victories from the month, introduce new people and hear a challenging message from Pastor Greg.
  • 12:15-1:30 Lunch.  While the Campus Pastors gather to eat lunch with Pastor Greg others are free to eat with who ever they would like and spend time connecting.

Isn’t it fun to make history and be a part of something big?  Today’s your chance, you can be a part of the largest multi-site survey in history!

The multi-site movement has skyrocketed in recent years.   Currently, one out of four megachurches has gone multi-site, and a third of all churches are considering it. Seven of America’s 10 fastest-growing churches are multi-site, and nine of the 10 largest churches are multi-site.  So clearly this is a method God is using to spread the gospel. 

In an effort to help multi-site churches learn from one another Leadership Network just launched the largest multi-site survey in history.  (Well, Okay it will be if you help us gather the input we need from multi-site leaders)  Whether you have one satellite campus or dozens, your participation really matters.

What are the benefits of taking this survey?

  1. You get a FREE copy of our illustrated report, emailed to you before it goes public.
  2. You (and anyone at your church) can be part of a June 24th invitational webinar with several multi-site pioneers, who will talk about long-term implications of multi-site
  3. You will influence hundreds if not thousands of other churches who are exploring the idea of becoming “one church in multiple locations”.  If you are interested check out the other Leadership Network reports on multi-site at  www.leadnet.org/multisiteresources.

The survey should take 15 minutes or less. Our preference is one reply per church. But we’d rather have two or more responses per church rather than none. So if you have one designated staff person who oversees your church’s multi-site strategy, please check whether that person has already participated.

So what are you waiting for?  Go to this link and share what you’ve learned on your multi-site journey http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AJK5R5NMY

Also if you’re not a member of Leading Multi-site, a social network community for multi-site leaders to share best practices, sign up free today at www.leadingmultisite.ning.com.

Should your church go multi-site?  This is a huge question many churches are wrestling with.  Over the past few years multi-site has grown from a strange new approach a few churches were experimenting with, to a movement that thousands of churches are now using to reach the lost.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to spend an entire day with Randy Bezet, Senior Pastor of Bayside Community Church in Bradenton, Florida.  Randy planted Bayside seven years ago and has witnessed phenomenal growth.  After seven years of being a portable church they just recently moved into their new building!  Randy and some of his team came to Seacoast to ask us some questions about their multi-site plans.  I asked Randy to share the questions they’re asking as they consider this strategic move for their church. In this four minute video interview he shares some great insights for churches who are considering making the move to multi-site.   In the video he refers to our Multi-site Network called Leading Multi-site.  You can join for free at www.leadingmultisite.ning.com.  You can follow Randy on Twitter @randybezet.