Brian Dennert on Collaboration Within a Growing Multisite Church


Hey, everyone! Thanks so much for joining us today for this week’s unSeminary podcast. In this episode we’re excited to have Brian Dennert with us from Faith Church.

Faith Church was founded in 1963 in South Holland, Illinois. Today they have eight campuses within Illinois and Indiana. Like many others, the church was on the decline until they examined what they were doing and how to make changes to grow from being inward-focused to connecting with the population around them. Brian Dennert is executive pastor at Faith Church and is here today to talk with us about connecting within and outside the church.

  • Connect beyond the walls. // A big part of Faith Church’s mission is to connect with their community. There are a lot of different ways this can happen. For example during Christmas and Easter, Faith Church does a “Reach Your Neighbors” mission in which congregants write down the name of one person they’re praying will come to the church during these services when they offer an invitation. But in addition to bringing people to the church, Faith Church’s mission is to connect outside their walls. Take a look at events that are taking place within your community and create a plan for how your church can get involved and live out the gospel message. Make it clear that the sole mission of the church is not to bring people to a building, but to bring people to Christ, wherever that leads them.
  • Balance the meetings among staff. // An important part of keeping staff connected within the church is through meetings. It’s a tough balance to find the right number of meetings that will satisfy the workings of the church without leaving people out of the loop, or drained from too many meetings! Especially important in a multisite church, you must work with your staff to strike that balance without wasting people’s time. Identifying the meeting’s purpose and laying out an agenda ahead of time is a good way to do that. Within Faith Church, they have meetings that may just be for information only. Or a meeting could be for collaboration, in which someone proposes an idea and is looking for feedback and help in brainstorming. Others may be for decision-making, after the collaboration process has been completed. Each time the purpose is identified ahead of time so people have appropriate expectations.
  • Balance the meetings among multisite campuses. // Managing the operations among multisites often requires bringing staff members from different locations together, so it’s important to have a clear expectation of who is driving the agenda and who is making decisions. For example, once a week Faith Church has an hour and a half campus pastors meeting. An hour of that is discussing campus issues, with the multisite director setting the agenda after receiving feedback from campus pastors. If there is something a campus pastor wants to talk about, it is first given to the multisite director to present to everyone. That allows all of the campus pastors to be in the loop with what the others are doing. The last half hour is for collaboration, in which everyone gives suggestions and feedback to each other regarding the implementation of strategies within their campus.

You can learn more about Faith Church at www.wearefaith.org. You can connect with Brian at [email protected].

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Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Slack & Google Docs

Ministries Following // Village Church with Matt Chandler in Texas

Influential Book // Thriving in the Second Chair by Mike Bonem

Inspiring Leader // Tim Keller

What does he do for fun // Reading presidential biographies

Contact // website: www.wearefaith.org, email: [email protected]

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.