2007 Multi-Site Church Conference

The 2007 Multi-Site Church Conference just wrapped up.  The conference looked at why do multi-site, different models of multi-site and specifically the Redeemer NY (multi-site) and the Harbor Presbyterian (multi-congregational & multi-site) models.  (No video venues)  Here are some ideas from the conference:

Launching a second site only increases a church costs 35-45% (with a pastor preaching these two locations each Sunday).

If you are going to launch a second service you must provide an equal level of excellence in these four areas or people may return to the first site: worship, preaching, fellowship, children.  Fellowship will take a hit, in terms of splitting people but they must see this as being on mission. 

To go multi-site you must have a movement leader who provides (1) integrity to vision, (2) vitality to mission and (3) unity in the sites.  

[Generis a sponsor led this session but I thought it was interesting] If you conduct a campaign to raise money in your church, their are three types of people who will give Major, Leadership & Congregation gifts.  I wont' go into too many details but typically the congregational represent 56-85% of the total givers yet only 15-25% of the total raised.  Just preaching on tithing isn't enough, stewardship needs to be a ministry in your church.  Many Major donors feel it unwise to tithe what they could, because the church could become dependent on it.  They are willing to donate for one-time events or projects.

Six Key Questions to ask to determine if you should go multi-site or not

1. Does multi-site ministry fit with your vision & values?  (For example, if you are bridging  together different cultures into one multi-cultural service, to go multi-site can actually harm your vision.)

2. Would the multi-site model best fit your context & gifts?

3. Is your leadership enthusiastic to do this?  (Going multi-site can cause some people to feel overwhelmed or even feel threatened by their loss of influence and power.)

4. Is your key leadership in place to support this goal & vision?

5. Have you effectively communicated your vision?

6. Is the pastor and his wife ready/willing/able to do this?  (Multi-site will have a big impact on your ministry style and patterns.) 

  • Bill Streger

    March 15, 2007, 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the notes here, Drew. Do you know if they plan to make the audio available?

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 15, 2007, 3:47 pm

    They did not record it.

  • Tim Etherington

    March 16, 2007, 7:05 am

    Drew, what are your thoughts on multi-site churches? My gut reaction is that this is an okay interim step but not a desirable long-term answer. I’d rather multiply churches than extend campuses. I’d really be interested in your thoughts on this.

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 16, 2007, 9:17 am


    There are numerous types of multi-site. What we are going to do is called multi-site, multi-congregational. We want to raise up preachers, who would take over these sites. Our goal is to have 15 locations (sites) that are all “Kaleo” but this would probably represent 7-8 congregations within our movement. A pastor would preach his message at two locations. So in some way they are diff’t churches, but they are part of the same movement of church planting.


  • Tim Etherington

    March 16, 2007, 1:15 pm

    Thanks Drew. That sounds like a decent idea. You’re multiplying a healthy church but you’re not having to wait till you get a preacher before your multiply. At the same time, you’re not planning on leaving it at a multisite level.

    This makes me more comfortable. Instead of finding an elder (pastor) and then building a church around him, you get the church going and then find a pastor to plug in to it.

    Am I reading you correctly?

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 18, 2007, 1:43 pm

    Yes, we are going to plant (multi-site), David will preach at all locations but an elder will be rotated in until they take it over. When the new elder/preacher takes it over (multi-congregational) they will then grow it and plan to start a second site/service.

  • Adrianna

    April 27, 2007, 10:19 am

    You seem to be taking a busines standpoint in this issue. I think more consideration and thought into the people themselves may prove more challenging to your vision goals. People thrive on human contact. To take a pastor away from a church to build up another one or to visions a pastor preaching for 2 churches is very disheartening to me. A church loses something when the pastor leaves or does not share the vision of the church with it’s congregation.