how multisite can wreck your church

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Going multisite can expand your ministry, reach new people, and have a positive impact on multiple communities. It can also wreck your church.

Just a few years ago, multisite was one strategy churches considered for reaching more people. Now it seems to be the standard strategy for every church.

It’s rare anymore that we come into contact with a pastor of 800+ who isn’t already thinking about new campuses.

And it’s great to dream about taking the gospel into new communities. In fact, at The Unstuck Group we often encourage churches to consider multisite as a next step. At the same time, we’ve also seen many churches become stuck as a result of going multisite.

It wasn’t that the strategy was wrong for their church. They just didn’t take the right steps to prepare ahead of time.

We’ve seen many churches become stuck as a result of going multisite. It wasn’t that the strategy was wrong for their church. They just didn’t take the right steps to prepare ahead of time. Click To Tweet

You should think twice before launching another campus.

Whether you are an existing or future multisite church, we want you to be as strategic as possible to reach as many people as possible. We’re not going to give you pie-in-the-sky ideals of how great it is to be multisite and why every church should launch a campus next year. You can find plenty of that on your own. Instead, we’re going to share the challenges, pitfalls, and shortcomings our team has seen and experienced with multisite churches.

Whether you are an existing or future multisite church, we want you to be as strategic as possible to reach as many people as possible. Click To Tweet

Here are 9 ways that going multisite can wreck your church:

1. Multiple Visions

When the vision isn’t 100% clear at one location, new campuses develop their own.

2. Draining Campuses

When an existing location isn’t growing itself, launching a new campus will likely leave it worse off.

3. Leaders At Their Lid

New locations will shift existing staff from leading a ministry to developing ministry leaders – but only if they have the capacity to do so.

4. Staff Tension

When roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines are unclear, new campuses only further complicate relationships.

5. Insufficient Volunteers

Without a deep volunteer bench, a new campus will leave every team short of key players.

6. Complicated Ministry Model

Without a clear discipleship pathway, new campuses will pave their own, only adding to the confusion.

7. Strained Systems

Every additional campus tests the strength of existing systems. When those systems are underdeveloped, the entire organization slows down.

8. Financial Pressure

Startup costs along with the first few years of operations will always require a large investment. Without sufficient capital on the front-end, other campuses will see that investment as a burden.

9. Downgraded Weekend Services

When new campuses cannot create the experience a church is known for, they either become “second-rate,” or cause the already established campuses to be downgraded.


To Multisite or Un-Multisite: Clarify a Path Forward

There are some predictable outcomes of every multisite strategy. Does your current strategy produce the results you hoped it would?

Access the video replay from our March 31 "To Multisite or Un-Multisite?" webinar event and leave with the tools you need to evaluate and fix your multisite strategy.

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Does your church run the risk of any of these as you consider new campuses?

Our Multisite Unstuck Process helps you navigate conversations with your team, along with clarifying decision rights, confirming your discipleship path, developing launch plans for future locations and much more.

Our team combined has 100+ years of experience leading in churches with successful multisite strategies. We can guide you to assess multisite readiness, build your model and strategies, and align your staff and structure to the strategy.

Interested in learning how it works? Let’s talk.

Ryan Stigile

Ryan Stigile serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Pastor of Nuvo Church. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Pastor of Ministry at Rock Bridge Community Church and Director of Expansion for NewPointe Community Church. Ryan has a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University and degrees in business administration and discipleship ministry from Lee University. He lives in Columbus, OH with his wife Emily and their daughter, Addison.

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