July 16, 2018 Tony Morgan

Trying Again After a Failed Campus Launch

How Do You Engage the Congregation in a Multisite Strategy… Again?

During our last multisite webinar, one participant asked a good question:

If you have launched a multisite campus that failed previously (based on health and other metrics), how would you employ this strategy again several years later without confusing the congregation?

This is actually a common question. We get it a lot from churches who contact The Unstuck Group about multisite consulting. Here’s how I would answer it.

1. You need to be able to clearly answer the questions, “Why do we want to launch a campus?” and “Why is multisite right for our strategy?”

If you don’t have compelling answers for those questions, you shouldn’t be going multisite anyway. If you can clearly communicate the why, you should be able to engage your congregation to try again.

Everyone can relate to failure. We try again when the why still makes sense.

2. You need a different strategy than what you used the first time.

Several of the churches we’ve served with Multisite Strategic Planning contacted us after having previously launched a campus that failed. It is possible to recover and have strong subsequent launch. But the strategy must be different.

Everyone can relate to failure. We try again when the why still makes sense. Click To Tweet

Before you can reevaluate your strategy, we recommend churches start with a Multisite Readiness Assessment that covers 10 Readiness “Checkpoints”—things like clarity of DNA, current church growth, volunteer strength and staff team health. This exercise can save a church a whole host of missteps by making sure you’re in a healthy place to launch successfully in the first place.

Starting with ministry health, it’s a lot easier to develop a healthy, effective multisite strategy. You specifically need to look at what was right, wrong, confused and missing the first time around. You need to make key decisions around your multisite model, teaching approach and team structure for this second time around. It helps to have an outside perspective for this.


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3. You need to be able to communicate the new strategy clearly.

We equip our clients with a Communications Planning Guide to help them think through every aspect of communication in advance, before starting the process of leading the change. Other good resources would be Kem Meyer’s book, Less Chaos. Less Noise. and John Kotter’s Leading Change.

Another key aspect of trying again? Get the campus pastor role right.

I’m hosting a free webinar on July 24 to dig deeper into just how you do that.

I’ll be joined by Jeff Henderson from North Point Ministries, Jason Anderson from Eagle Brook Church in Minnesota and Chris Surratt, currently of LifeWay, but formerly in multisite leadership at SeaCoast Church in South Carolina and Cross Point Church in Nashville.

We’re planning to discuss the things that we are finding make campus leadership work in healthy multisite churches.

It’s free and all you have to do is register here to join us.

We’ll wrap the event up with 15 minutes of live Q&A, so start thinking of some questions you’d like to submit to the panel.

I hope you’ll join us!


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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.