Deciding to go multisite is a big decision for a church that should warrant significant thought and intentionality. It requires more time, money, and talent than growing one central location, and it’s a lot harder than it looks from the outside.
When I started Vanderbloemen Search Group over seven years ago, multisite was a fairly new idea and was primarily driven by megachurches like Life.Church and Willow Creek who were quickly outgrowing their buildings and parking lots. But multisite isn’t for megachurches anymore.
Today, many, if not most, of our church clients are multisite. I’m seeing many churches start a campus in a neighborhood, grow it to a few hundred, and then start another campus down the highway with the goal of having multiple smaller campus churches rather than one large central church with small sub-campuses.
There are many different types of multisite churches, which is why staffing for your multisite church is especially challenging. The Campus Pastor is a fairly new role to the church staff scene, and it’s a tough role to staff, especially when the church hasn’t strategically thought through their multisite strategy.
Is your campus going to be an extension of the main campus or be an autonomous site? Is your campus going to be video teaching of the Lead Pastor or have live teaching from someone else? Are you going to live stream the main campus’ service or have live worship music with video teaching? Are you going to have childcare at this campus with staff that reports to this Campus Pastor or reports to someone at the main campus?
Answers to questions like these influence the job description of the Campus Pastor, which is why it’s vital that your church think strategically about your multisite plans before you begin the staffing process. No multisite church is alike, which means no Campus Pastor is alike.
Your church is unique, so your multisite strategy should be uniquely positioned for how God has gifted your church to reach your community, and your Campus Pastor is a vital part of that vision.
Here are five different types of Campus Pastors that we’ve helped churches find depending on their multisite strategy.
Which of them is right for your church?
1. The Communicator
With low oversight and high visibility, the Communicator Campus Pastor is the primary teacher at a campus. This type of Campus Pastor is not cookie cutter, and there are many personality traits that can fit this role. He usually has ‘dotted line’ leadership over the campus staff.
He is the primary communicator at the campus and has a lot of influence over setting campus culture. He has natural communication skills. He doesn’t necessarily need an extensive background in ministry, especially if he is reporting to the leadership of the central campus, as he is to carry out their vision on the campus he leads.
2. The Facilitator
This Campus Pastor is a service host. Her stage presence must be strong in order to seamlessly intro and outro the video-streamed messages. Her leadership needs to be strong, but it isn’t paramount to the long-term success and growth of the campus.
Although her voice is critical to the team during service operation, campus staff likely reports directly to the leaders of the central church as opposed to reporting to her. Though it’s not an exact formula, this is a popular profile for highly relational Campus Pastors with great stage presence but less of a desire to teach compared to the Communicator Campus Pastor.
3. The Manager
This Campus Pastor is similar to the Facilitator, except in this role, he has direct oversight over the campus team. Peripheral staff reports to him, and he speaks into the excellence and function of weekend service operations and campus events. He may lead weekly staff meetings at the campus level, with a small handful of opportunities to speak on Sundays and develop his communication and leadership skills. He may have had successful years of ministry with proven team-building abilities and a great stage presence. Senior Pastor mentorship is often ideal for this type of Campus Pastor.
4. The Duplicator
This Campus Pastor is typically a hybrid between the Communicator, Facilitator, and Manager. She is a facilitator and a manager with some preaching responsibilities. Highly skilled in vision execution and task accomplishment, she is one that sweats the details and gets them done rapidly. This position is an anomaly for two reasons. First, the position fits both introverted and extroverted types. Second, the role requires both exceedingly strong communication abilities as well as administrative capabilities. This Campus Pastor is an individually driven ‘matchmaker’ (i.e. duplicators of the central church) and requires very little oversight.
5. The Planter
This Campus Pastor assumes all responsibility at the campus level. He is the primary communicator at a live teaching venue and the direct staff leader for the campus team. He is also capable of being an executive-level team member at the central church, with influence over the direction of the campus or campuses. While there is no formula for finding the perfect Campus Pastor, a typical candidate for this specific type could be a previous church planter, tenured staff, or a tenured Campus Pastor from a previous/existing campus. He is a very gifted leader who functions best when offered autonomy and ‘hands off’ supervision.
There are no cookie cutter answers to multisite or staffing questions because every church is unique, but hopefully this overview of the varying Campus Pastor roles is a helpful place for you to start as you think about your church’s staffing needs. For a comprehensive look at these roles and their corresponding skill sets and personality types to look for, download our free eBook, Multisite Staffing: The Keys To Knowing Which Campus Pastor Is Right For You.