Cliff Lambert help you develop a plan of action.
If you’re part of a ministry whose vision is to reach as many people in your city as possible with the Gospel, your leadership has probably had the multi-site discussion. Church multi-site expansion has exploded in the last ten years. Hundreds of articles have been written on the advantages as well as the challenges of moving from one campus to several. Forums have popped up all over with information equipping church leaders to make the multi-site plunge. With that, we’ve seen many different ways churches are approaching multi-site expansion. As we sift through these approaches, it is important that each ministry within the church develop a specific plan of action with objectives pertaining to their area. This post will focus on how a worship ministry can approach multi-site expansion.
In 2005, I had the incredible and humbling experience of entering into the multi-site phenomenon as a worship pastor of a large metro Detroit church. Over the next six years, the church grew from one campus to six campuses in just six years. It was an exciting yet scary ride for a church that was 50 years old. It required not only a lot of preparation and planning but an incredible amount of simply trusting God along the way. Back then there wasn’t a lot written about multi-site expansion so we all learned a lot about what to do and what not to do along the way. For those of you looking to expand into a multi-site ministry, I hope you can learn from my experience.
First, the steps you take in planning for worship ministry multi-site expansion will depend on the factors going into starting your new campus. Some new campuses are “fresh starts” where there are no existing teams in place and you will have to develop and place an entire team to facilitate worship at the new campus. Other campuses may be pre-existing ministries where your church is going in to “merge” with an established group of worshipers already in place. These situations are a little more tricky and require more work because you could be dealing with a group of worshipers who have just been through a painful church split or a steady decline due to the lack of vision of previous leadership. While some of the process for expansion is the same for both situations, for the sake of this article, we’ll focus on developing a “fresh start” campus. Feel free to comment below if you’d like information on going multi-site as a merger. I’ll be happy to correspond.
So now we must consider the financial, personnel and equipment aspects of expanding the worship ministry to another campus. As you develop your game plan and proposals, here are some things to look at:
This is really something you should already be doing whether you’re planning for multi-site expansion or not. If you’re not, start now. The duplication process doesn’t happen overnight. I recommend at least six months. Duplicating yourself not only means training someone to lead worship but also making sure they experience and grasp your vision and what you do behind-the-scenes in preparation for corporate worship. Find 2-3 abecedarians in your ministry who have the gift set for leading worship and leading a team and begin to pour into them. One of those could be your candidate to lead the new campus. Duplication is so much better than trying to hire a new worship leader from outside of your ministry since the ones you duplicate will already understand and own your ministry’s mission and vision. When starting a new campus, there will be times when you, the worship pastor or main worship leader, will need to be available to personally invest time and energy into the new campus while it’s getting started. Sometimes you may need to meet with the new team to observe them at rehearsal or on a given weekend to offer feedback and training, or actually go lead worship for a couple of weekends. When that happens, you need to have depth in your leadership team to lead while you’re displaced at your campus.