The multisite strategy has become the “new normal” for healthy and growing churches in urban, suburban and rural communities. Leadership Network reports that an estimated 5 million people attend one of the more than 8,000 multisite churches across North America. Going multisite changes how church leaders think and do church. Here are 9 current multisite trends for 2015:
- Multisite Multiplication: Today nearly 10 percent of all Protestant church-goers attend a church with multiple campuses. If multisite churches were a denomination, they would be the fourth largest denomination in America.
- Gigachurches: According to Leadership Network’s Warren Bird, today there are 78 “gigachurches” with more than 10,000 in weekend attendance. Most of them are multisite churches. Megachurches are getting bigger through multisiting because they are no longer limited to one location.
- Church Buildings: New church buildings today are smaller, multipurpose, multivenue, community-centric and environmentally friendly buildings.
- Denominational Strategy: Progressive denominational leaders are seeing the opportunities to grow their strong churches through multisite and salvage their struggling churches through mission-driven mergers.
- Missional Movements: A small but growing number of multisite churches are going beyond adding one or two campuses to multiply exponentially. These churches are becoming missional movements of reproducing churches through multisiting and church planting, nationally and internationally. These movements are becoming the new “denominations” of the 21st century.
- Church Staffing: The multisite campus pastor role did not exist a few years ago but has now become one of the most sought-after positions in the church. The “Senior Pastor” title is fading fast for “Lead Pastor,” and “Teacher” is preferred to “Preacher.” Growing churches are increasingly going to a teaching team model with a senior leadership team of three to five people. As baby boomer senior pastors retire, more churches are looking for new senior pastors with multisite experience.
- Video: Although in-person teaching teams are increasing—the use of video sermons, testimonies, promotions and announcements is becoming more mainstream in local churches.
- Church Names: Churches are changing their names because they either have cultural baggage or are geographically limiting for a multisite strategy. These new names are typically shorter and without the denominational label.
- Community Transformation: Church leaders are focusing less on “coming to church” and more about “being the church” in their local communities.
For more on what’s trending in Multisite, visit OutreachMagazine.com/Jim-Tomberlin