Before any decision can be made, the team has to first decide how the decision will be made.

It’s true—you can do multisite a lot of different ways. 

But, it’s also true that each way has some fairly predictable outcomes. 

A lot of multisite churches characterize themselves as one church in multiple locations. While I believe that is the best way to approach multisite, I see few churches executing it well. 

And truthfully, there’s a common culprit that I see getting in the way—

The multisite strategy isn’t clear… which leaves your team guessing about how to interpret their roles.

Without clarity, campuses will begin to drift—not in an intentional, malicious way, but because decisions need to be made.

It’s important to determine in advance how identical or independent your multisite locations will be. And then, determine how decisions will be made. Both of these need to be decided in advance of your launch in order to keep the desired alignment in place. 

 Clarifying Decision Rights on your team

Even before a church goes multisite, a lack of clarity around who makes what decisions frustrates leaders, slows progress in critical areas, and builds an undercurrent of strain amongst teammates. 

But before any decision can be made, the team has to first decide how the decision will be made.

But before any decision can be made, the team has to first decide how the decision will be made. Click To Tweet

Two key variables to consider:

  • the amount of time it takes to make a decision
  • the level of buy-in it generates

Different types of decisions warrant different types of decision rights. By thinking through what level of buy-in is needed and how much time you have to make a decision, you make room for the right level of decision-making.  

(For more details of each type, we dig into descriptions and scenarios in the free Clarifying Decision Rights module). 

Different types of decisions warrant different types of decision rights. By thinking through what level of buy-in is needed and how much time you have to make a decision, you make room for the right level of decision-making. Click To Tweet

clarifying decision rights

For example, there might be a few occasions where it’s reasonable for the leader to make decisions without any input. But as you set the precedent for how decisions will be made, consider that buy-in is crucial for the success of your ministry. Your team needs to know why they’re doing what they’re doing to execute well. 

This doesn’t require 100% agreement from all team members on all decisions. The people-pleasing game isn’t one for leaders. But, 100% buy-in to the vision, and trust in your leadership, is necessary. 

Click To Tweet

This type of decision-making requires more time, but health requires investment. 

What is the structure of your decision-making model? In our Multisite Unstuck Course, we dive deep into examples, discussions and exercises that help you determine how you want to clarify decision rights. 

We help you answer questions like—

  • Independent or identical campuses?

  • What is going to be decided centrally? Which decisions are campus calls?

  • What kind of campus leaders do you need based on how you answer those first questions?

Personally, I think this is the stuff multisite churches need to be talking about. So, my team is offering this module from our Multisite Unstuck Course for free. It gives a great snapshot into the course experience and I think you’ll find it helpful. 

I hope you’ll check it out.

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