Chris Vacher on Nurturing a New Worship Venue at Your Church




chrisvacherWelcome to this Thursday’s edition of the unSeminary podcast. This week I’m super-excited to be talking to Chris Vacher, also known as Chris from Canada, who is an excellent leader at C4 Church, east of Toronto.

Chris got this week’s session started by filling us in on his ministry at C4. The church was founded 30 years ago and has changed locations twice, both times moving eastward, or more into the suburbs. What that means, is that C4 is now deeply entrenched in the Durham, Pickering, Ajax area. There are about 500,000 people in that location.

Those of you who are familiar with suburban ministry know what that means: Most people who live in this area are commuting into the city of Toronto. That translates into crazy schedules and not a ton of “community” focus.

C4 has been in their current location since 1999, and Chris was brought on staff as the Worship Pastor about 18 months ago, and then last summer became the Creative Arts Pastor. That means he oversees almost everything that happens on Sundays: the music, the creative communication, all of the design, video, film, and all the production.

C4 has about 2,000 people, which is a BIG number for a church in Canada! Not many churches of this size exist in Canada, so C4 looks for people to learn from, both within and outside the Canadian borders.

This background information brings you up to speed on the topic for today:

How do you deal with such tremendous growth?

Toronto is a huge city, which sometimes surprises people. It is, in fact, the third largest metro area in North America, so when the Vachers moved from the West side to the East side of the city, it wasn’t like moving across town. Chris and his family found themselves having to learn how to “do life” and how to lead ministry in a whole new way.

One of the first things on Chris’ plate was helping to decide what to do when a church building is maxed-out. Chris explains:

We were having one service in our main auditorium (about 900 seats) and we were full!

C4 has a God-given vision to be a regional church of 10,000 people, and it’s impossible to be that church meeting in one service in one location. They had already decided to be multiple services church in multiple locations, but when Chris arrived, a year and a half ago, they had already hit the first barrier to that vision. What were they going to do?

  • Hold multiple services?
  • Open another location for services?
  • Start another venue in their current location?

C4 made the decision to do multiple venues in their current location. Here’s how they narrowed down the three options and arrived at that decision.

Three options: One decision

  1. Multiple Services: C4 was currently holding a 10 am service. Should they add an 11:30 service or an 8:30 worship time? And if so, typically you would replicate everything. You would offer kids programming twice, the pastor would preach twice, etc. Or you could offer two different styles of worship: Traditional and contemporary or café-style, but basically still the same content repeated twice.
  2. Second Location: This may be a more common and more effective way to reach more people. Worship could be set up in a school or other church building.
  3. Multi-venue: C4 had a fellowship hall in their building, not huge, but they used it for wedding receptions, Junior High ministry events, etc. They considered converting that area into space that could be used on Sunday mornings at the same time as the main service, offering a second venue.

The reasons that drove C4 to decide on the multi-venue service were this option was much less risky than opening a new venue off-site. They could control the content that was offered, they would not have to pay rent on a second location or buy lots of new equipment. They would not have to ask people to leave an environment they were comfortable in.

Also, C4 felt they were not ready, volunteer-wise, to duplicate services to add a second service. To do that would take a lot of volunteers, and they simply were not prepared to staff two services with volunteers, mostly in the areas of kid’s ministry and hospitality and connections.

Auditorium B: Not Amateur Hour

Chris was very quick to point out that what went on in Auditorium B was in no way “less than” what happened in the main auditorium on any Sunday. The praise band was live and not “Junior Varsity.” The worship leader was “live.” The welcome and transitions out of worship, the announcements, the offering, congregational prayers and close of service were all “live.” The teaching was live by video.

C4 asked people to volunteer to attend worship via RSVP in Auditorium B for 10 weeks. They made the ask vision-driven by announcing, “We’re full. There’s lots of people coming and we have to make room.”   Baptisms, Communion, Easter were all held in the multi-venue site just as in the main auditorium.

Auditorium B ran for ten weeks: March through the spring. In the summer, they went back to just the main auditorium, as attendance was down. In September, C4 reopened the multi-venue, but by October, both venues were full! In December, they had to launch a second service in the main auditorium, so they are currently at 2 services in one location, instead of 1 service in 2 locations. But! They are starting to get full again!

C4 is starting to talk about off-site venues, but they still have Auditorium B as an option.

What about you?

If you are thinking about the need to add additional service times, an off-site venue or adding an on-site venue, here are some things to consider:

  • How do you feel about video teaching?
  • Estimate your costs
  • Estimate your risks

If you’re interested in knowing more about C4 church and their exciting growth and ministry, visit them online at or you can find Chris at

Episode Highlights

00:36 // Rich introduces Chris Vacher to the show.

01:09 // Chris introduces himself and talks about C4 Church.

02:58 // Chris talks about the growth of C4 Church and their decision to go multisite.

06:31 // Chris talks about electing a multi-venue as opposed to a second service.

08:54 // Chris talks about C4’s second venue, auditorium B.

12:56 // Chris talks about the process of transitioning people from the main auditorium to auditorium B.

15:05 // Chris talks about the initial issues with space in auditorium B.

16:22 // Chris talks about C4’s process for learning.

17:26 // Chris tells how seasons impact the venues.

19:01 // Chris talks about the impact of the Add and Multiply campaign.

20:43 // Chris highlights the attendance split for the two services.

21:37 // Chris and Rich discuss video training.

24:49 // Chris talks about being a chicken owner.

26:11 // Chris offers contact details.

Episode Transcript

Rich – Well hey everybody, welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in, I hope you’re having a great Thursday as we count down to this weekend at your church. I know you’re super busy, there’s a lot of things you could be spending your time on today and I’m just privileged that you would take some time, honored that you’d take some time to spend with us today.

I’m super excited to have Chris Vacher with us today. He’s from C4 Church, a friend of the podcast, he’s been on before, east of Toronto, welcome to the show Chris.

Chris – Hey man, it’s great to connect, always fun talking with you, whether it’s in person or over the internet or podcast, however it is, to spend time with you.

Rich – Nice, well it’s going to be good to talk to a Canadian today. Chris’s handle is chrisfromcanada, all over the place, so it’s always fun to interact with Chris. Chris is a great guy, a great leader and so why don’t you give us a sense of C4? Tell us a little bit about your ministry.

Chris – Sure, so C4, we are in the eastern suburbs of Toronto and the church was founded about 30 years ago. We’ve moved locations a couple of times and both times we moved we moved eastwards, so more into the suburbs. So we are deeply entrenched in… So Durham region, Pickering, Ajax would be Oshawa foresees about 500 thousand people in this region. Most people would be commuting into the city of Toronto and so a lot of people who do suburban ministry familiar with just crazy schedules and not a ton of community. So we’re kind of right in the middle of that.

We’ve been in this location since 1999 and I’ve been on staff here for a year and a half. I was hired here as the Worship Pastor and then last summer became the Creative Arts Pastor. So overseeing all of our worship, everything on Sunday, our music and then all of our creative communications, all of our design, video, film, anything anyone would see and then also our production as well.

We’re a church of about two thousand people, which people who know ministry in Canada, 2 thousand’s a big number for a church in Canada, there’s not a lot of churches of that size. So we look as hard as we can for people to learn from me that are in Canada or other places, because we know there’s people ahead of us making some really good decisions and we want to learn from them as we just… and do everything we can to reach more people for Jesus in this region and see God do some amazing, amazing things.

Rich – Absolutely, C4 is a great church. If you’re not tracking along with it you really should. They’re doing all kinds of really interesting things and I think are great communicators and just doing good stuff for sure.

So now you guys, as you’ve been growing, which is a great problem to have, it’s a gold-plated problem, why don’t you describe some of the bumps along the way? How have you dealt with that growth?

Chris – Yeah, so I came here a year and a half ago and we were new to this region, new to this area and if you don’t know Toronto people are often surprised when they find out how big Toronto is. Toronto is the third largest metro area in North America, we just passed Chicago last year I think. So it’s a huge city and we moved from the west side of Toronto to the east side of Toronto, which is not really like moving across town, it really is moving across the province.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So we came to a new area, a new place, meeting all kinds of new people, learning how to do ministry in a new way. I personally had to like get up to speed real quick and figure out how to do life and do ministry in a new context with new people, leading in a new kind of church and one of the things that was on our plate, sort of right as soon as we came here, was we were doing one service in our main auditorium, about 900 seats, and we were full, maxed out. We have a vision here at our church, we really believe God’s promised lots of things to our church. One of the things that we’re going to be a regional church of ten thousand people. It’s very unCanadian to say to put a number on it.

Rich – Yeah very unCanadian.

Chris – But we really believe, we’re speaking to our elders and to our leadership in lots of different, very specific ways around that number of ten thousand. So obviously we can’t be a church of ten thousand meeting in one service and one location.

Rich – Yeah right.

Chris – So we had already decided, a while ago, that we were going to be multiple services and multiple locations. So I came here a year and a half ago and we were sort of already up against that first barrier; what are we going to do? Are we going to do multiple services, are we going to launch another location or are we going to do something different, maybe another venue, you know, a building?

I guess this is what we’re going to talk about today, so what we decided is, we decided to do multiple venues. So I’m sitting in what we call our auditorium B, this is our stage drop behind us.

I guess the three options on the table were, do we do a second service? We were doing a 10 o’clock service time, so do we add an 11:30 service or do we add an 8:30 service, which basically for people who don’t do multiple services, the typical way would be you just sort of replicate everything.

Rich – Yes.

Chris – And you offer kids’ programming twice and it’s the same service content twice and the preacher preaches twice or you would do different styles; traditional and contemporary or café style or something. But basically the same content repeated twice or do we launch a second location and you guys are pros at that, multi-site churches becoming, I think, a more common way and a more effective way to reach more people. So do we launch a second location and then meet in a school somewhere or use another church building and we [Inaudible 00:05:46] for another spot? Or do we do multi-venue, which we had in our building a fellowship hall, you know, which is a room, it’s not a huge room, it’s a room that we actually used it for our junior high ministry on Sunday morning and for alpha and for wedding reception dinners, there’s a dance floor in the middle of the…

Rich – Nice, that’s fantastic.

Chris – But could we convert that into a space that could be on Sunday morning at the same time as our main service, on Sunday morning, a second venue?

Rich – Right.

Chris – So we made the decision to do that.

Rich – What drove that because I think the kind of more traditional route would be, let’s just add a second service? What was it that led you guys to elect, okay no, actually let’s do it in a second venue? Then we’ll talk about what the venue actually is.

Chris – Yeah, well there would be lots of things and people have, if it’s a new concept they get freaked out, “We’re not going to be one church anymore. We’re not going to see people anymore. How is the pastor going to go back and forth from room to room? What about worship?” But at the core, and these wouldn’t be the only ones, but I would say these would be the two things. One pro multiple venues and one against multiple services.

Rich – Okay.

Chris – So the pro for multiple venues was vision driven because we knew to be a regional church of ten thousand people, we were not going to be one service in one location. We had already made that decision.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So it was just like, at some point we have to do multiple venues.

Rich – Right.

Chris – Man if we did a venue onsite, that’s way less risky than doing a venue offsite. I don’t know what the percentage would be of offsite campuses that fail at a first shot, but we thought, man if we did an onsite venue, we can control the experience, we’re not paying for rent, we don’t have to pay for a ton of equipment, we did have some startup cost, we’re not going into a new neighborhood or a new location, we’re not asking people to leave what they’re familiar with. So that was the first thing, it was really vision driven, onsite, safe venue.

The second one which is sort of against multiple services is, we weren’t ready at the time to duplicate some of our volunteer teams and that would be mostly in kids and in hospitality or connections.

Rich – Okay.

Chris – So to take our full kids’ offering, we do from birth from up to grade four for kids and then grade five up to grade eight is for junior high in the morning. That takes a lot of volunteers on Sunday morning. Greeters, ushers, all that stuff and we felt to ask people to serve two services on a Sunday with three year olds, it’s not going to work out.

Rich – Yeah exactly.

Chris – So those two things, where we felt at the point we were at we weren’t ready to double our serving teams and we knew we were going to eventually be multiple venue. So those two things working together were sort of like, “Man let’s try this.”

Rich – Let’s do it. So what does it look like? Can you kind of describe what’s happening when you say multi-venue? Obviously it’s a smaller room, what is the experience like if I came to that venue?

Chris – Yeah, so our main auditorium, about 900 seats, about 200 in the balcony, so a good sized room. We put a ton of energy into our Sunday morning. Sunday morning is our main event for us. We say like every Sunday is the Super Bowl, it’s a big deal for us. We didn’t want our second venue, or auditorium B to be amateur hour. So what we talked about is we have live worship, live hosts, live teaching by video.

Rich – Okay.

Chris – Live worship, live hosts, live teaching by video. Our auditorium B seats about 220 people.

Rich – Wow that’s good.

Chris – We spent some money, like we put in this black curtain, there’s a TV above my shoulder here.

Rich – Yeah.

Chris – There’s two screens, you can see the ‘Kingdom King’ that’s a neon sign, it’s turned off right now.

Rich – Nice.

Chris – We love neon and Kingdom King is our annual theme. It’s a stage element that was present in our main auditorium that we brought over to auditorium B, we found that was really important.

So we have a live host, a host for us on Sunday morning does our welcome, does our transitions out of worship, announcements, offering, congregational prayer. They also do the close of the service, so there’s three segments for the host.

So we have a live host in the main auditorium and in auditorium B. A live worship, that was really important for us, that’s sort of a key part of the C4 worship experience, it’s not coffee house, it’s not acoustic. We were actually really careful, it’s actually not the quiet venue, it’s still loud in here, in this room. So one week I might be leading or one of our worship leaders will be leading in the main auditorium with their team, the next Sunday they’d be leading in auditorium B. It wasn’t the junior varsity team.

Rich – Right, right, right, right.

Chris – That was really… because we were asking people to give up their seat in the main auditorium and come to auditorium B to make more room for new people in the main auditorium.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So we didn’t want to dumb down the experience and say like, “Oh you know, sorry we couldn’t give you the real deal, here’s the leftovers.”

Rich – Right.

Chris – Then live teaching by video.

Rich – Right.

Chris – That was a language decision where we didn’t say video teaching but we said live teaching by video and we did it, I mean literally as easily as we could.

We have one camera in our main auditorium. We already had it there because we had a one camera podcast where we just video the service. We had some tech guys, I’m not a tech guy, but I know what I want for a final product. There’s a cable that comes out of the camera that gets sent from the big room to the small room and then we use ProVideoServer, the guys that make ProPresenter. So if people are familiar with using ProPresenter from Renewed Vision, they have a sister product called ProVideoServer. We looked at all kinds of solutions like PVRs, security camera software, we scoured a way to do it on the cheap. ProVideoServer isn’t cheap but it’s not… you could spend a lot more money than what you’d spend on ProVideoServer but we found that it was the right solution.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So we have, in our tech booth and auditorium B, one Mac mini that runs ProPresenter, one Mac mini that runs ProVideoServer. So the teaching feed comes into the ProVideoServer, Mac Mini goes into our switcher and out to our projectors. We don’t get tricky with multi cameras, all that stuff, it’s literally just one camera feed being sent over from the big room to the small room.

Rich – So what happens? So obviously you invested a bunch of time, effort and energy. I love the language stuff there, I’m sure people picked up on that, because I think you can… I’ve stubbed my toe on that stuff in the past, if you don’t think that stuff through, there’s unintended consequences when you use, you know, language like video teaching or whatever you can end up there. So what ended up taking place? Did it work? Did people..? Because that’s going from the main room, even though it’s only… I’ve been in your building, it’s probably 200 feet or 100 feet, it’s close but emotionally that’s a big difference, what happened?

Chris – So what we did is we had the opportunity to make it visionary and to say, “We’re full, there’s lots of people coming.” You can feel it right? You can feel the pain. We had just gone through and Easter weekend where we were jammed out, we had people… sorry a Christmas where we had people in the isles, it was packed.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So we went to people early in the year and said, “It’s full, you know that there’s more people coming. We just have to make more room, we have to make more seats.” So we actually asked for 150 people to RSVP.

Rich – Okay, nice.

Chris – We used that language, you know, we said, “Just like you would make a reservation for a restaurant we want you to RSVP and we are asking for ten weeks.” We launched a trial and we told people, we invited people to help us learn. It goes back to this, you know, it’s better to fail onsite than offsite. “We know this is our future so please help us learn this. We need 150 of you in auditorium B every Sunday and here’s the first date.” We did a dry run the Sunday before. The dry run Sunday, we had our highest attendance ever.

Rich – Oh my goodness, wow.

Chris – Not a coincidence, we’d been planning for it and in talks for a long time and March 23rd 2014 we had our highest attendance ever and coincidentally March 30th was our first Sunday where we opened up a couple of hundred more seats.

Rich – Wow.

Chris – So we ran for ten weeks and numbers would have varied between 110 to maybe 230 up and down, it never felt empty at the service.

Rich – Right.

Chris – The seasonal pattern followed the way it did in the main auditorium but essentially that’s what we did. We just asked people to step up and to say yes to make more room in our main auditorium.

Rich – So if you only have 220 seats and you’re pushing up against 230 some weekends, what happened then? That seems like, okay it’s working, like it’s great, again it would be great if it was, “We averaged 150 and just kept going,” but it sounds like you were pushing up against that.

Chris – Yeah so the first couple of weeks we setup we actually… I said we could seat 220, we actually setup about 250 chairs.

Rich – Okay nice.

Chris – So the first Sunday it was rammed in here, it was hot, people were squished in and we thought, “Man nobody’s going to come back if the experience is like this, so let’s actually take away chairs. We’re still opening up more seats than we need, so let’s take away some chairs, so that when this room is full, even people who want to be in auditorium B, they will feel good about that even if they have to sit in main auditorium.”

We did baptisms in here, we did communion in here, we did Easter Sunday in auditorium B, we felt like everything that we would do in our main auditorium, we should replicate that in auditorium B and not have it feel like a secondary experience.

Rich – Yeah I think this is a great. For churches out there that are thinking about, particularly you guys that are thinking about multisite and I know a part of the punchline is you’re going to end up launching another campus here.

Chris – Yeah.

Rich – But I think this is a great first step because you’re learning there, there is a part of it where even just whoever’s doing the teaching, being in front of a camera, learning what that’s like, you know, learning to kind of how, how do they deal with that, that’s all win all around.

Chris – Yeah.

Rich – That’s fantastic.

Chris – And we didn’t just say that we wanted to learn, we actually, like we were really intentional about it. So every Sunday we had… we don’t do comic cards a lot here at C4, we did comic cards on the seats, every seat, every Sunday.

Rich – Interesting.

Chris – And the first five weeks it was literally just rate the experience.

Rich – Right.

Chris – “Did you enjoy being in auditorium B for the service? Yes or no?”

Rich – Right.

Chris – “Did you enjoy watching the pastor onscreen?” The sort of valuations, some questions were one to ten, but basically it was the experience. The second half of those ten weeks, the last five weeks, we started asking missional questions. “Would you invite a friend with you to attend a C4 venue like this?”

Rich – Right.

Chris – “If there was a C4 venue like this closer to where you lived, would you choose to attend that venue rather than our main service?” It was really interesting but we were really intentional about asking for input and trying to learn and man we learned a ton.

Rich – Very cool. Good so then does it continue to run today?

Chris – No. So we ran it for that initial ten weeks, end of March until whatever, May.

Rich – Yeah.

Chris – Then, like a lot of places do, summer attendance changes and so we went back, just to our main auditorium for the summer. September hit, we relaunched auditorium B and by September we were out of a learning mode. So now this is like a full-fledged venue for us. Please God we continue to grow so that by the time we got into October/November, we were staring to fill up again our main auditorium and then the question started to ramp up, “Okay now what? Now what do we do?”

Rich – Right, right, right.

Chris – So what we decided to do was in December we launched a second service and so we went from one service time in two locations to two service times in one location. So right now we do 9 o’clock and 11:15 in our main auditorium.

Rich – Right.

Chris – We’ve been doing that since December, it’s now middle of April, it’s starting to get full.

Rich – Right.

Chris – We’ve had record attendance multiple times.

Rich – That’s great.

Chris – We’ve done that, so we know we’ve got auditorium B as a release valve, as an option for us, even just for one service. We could do 9 o’clock in two venues, 11:15 in our main auditorium, maybe vice versa and then we’re also still in big conversations and planning about this offsite venue as well.

Rich – Very cool. So was there anything that you learned from launching the venue that then you kind of took and applied that to going to multiple services?

Chris – Oh yeah. Well I guess I said one of the reasons we didn’t do multiple services back in the spring was, part of the reason was our volunteer teams, we didn’t feel like we had capacity to double our teams in hospitality and kids. By the time we got through our ministry last year we felt like, “Okay maybe we can now ramp this up,” and so we did a big campaign that we called Add and Multiply and that was our lingo for going to two services. We told people we’ve added a venue and now we need to multiply and do a second service, because the communication around that always gets tricky.

Rich – Right.

Chris – Especially because we were asking everyone to change. We had a 10 o’clock service time and we didn’t have a 10 o’clock service anymore, we were going 9:00 and 11:15. So we were asking everyone to change.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So, “Man don’t tell me what to do, I’ve been coming to church for 10 o’clock since…” “No you haven’t but…” So we use that Add and Multiply, we’ve added a venue, now we need to multiply into services and we use that same language for serving.

Rich – Right.

Chris – We were asking people to add to their serving, you know, “You might serve occasionally, would you consider serving regularly?” Then we said we also need to multiply our teams. “If you have never served before”, like you might say, “this is the perfect time.”

Rich – Yeah time to get in.

Chris – Yeah it’s the perfect time to get in, and so we use the Add and Multiply for the venue and service time but also for our volunteer teams and man the response was massive, it was awesome.

Rich – Nice, very cool. Well just for curiosity sake, how did the kind of attendance split out between the two; the 9:00 and the 11:15? Where did that land for you?

Chris – Well I think everything… I think the general accepted is like you’ll see 60/40.

Rich – Yeah.

Chris – So 60 at the earlier and 40… So we’ve been around there.

Rich – So wait a second. 40 at the second? Your second service is smaller?

Chris – Yeah, our second service is smaller.

Rich – Very interesting.

Chris – Part of that I think is weather, we’ve had a brutal winter. So it’s now nicer weather, it’s starting to, it’s actually starting to even out in our adult numbers but our kid numbers are still 60/40 at the earlier.

Rich – Okay, interesting.

Chris – But our adult numbers are yeah, pretty even.

Rich – Great, so you’ve created a bunch of space at that 11:15 service, which is great.

Chris – Yeah.

Rich – That’s fantastic.

Chris – Yeah we’ve created a bunch of space but we’ve had some Sundays where we’ve been pretty full.

Rich – Yeah.

Chris – It’s awesome.

Rich – That’s incredible.

Chris – Yeah.

Rich – Nice, well is there anything else you want to share, just around all of this, around multiplying venues and service times before we move on?

Chris – I guess to say like, if you’re thinking about it, go for it. There’s conversations you’ve got to have like, “How do we feel about video teaching?” I think pastorally you should wrestle through that so that you’ve got… if you’re in pastoral leadership you should wrestle through that, so you’ve got a handle on it, because people will ask.

Rich – Right.

Chris – It cost less money than we were expecting it to, to do it well.

Rich – Interesting.

Chris – It costs money, it’s not free.

Rich – Right.

Chris – You could do it for free or for really cheap, but it’s worth the investment because we had a couple of hundred people and they were choosing to be here. On Sunday morning, sleep in, work on the garden, go to kids’ soccer, whatever it is, they’re choosing, the least we can do is create a great environment and a great experience for them.

Rich – Right.

Chris – So invest in the experience for people when they come and it costs less than we thought and the other thing would be, and this has been proven but it was a good learning for us, like video teaching works.

Rich – Right, right.

Chris – It really works and the clincher for me, we had a Sunday, one of our first Sundays in auditorium B, our pastor, he loves to tell stories, he’s got little kids and suburban that’s great, he tells stories about his kids and the goofy things they do. He was talking about going to the grocery store and saying like, “You know the grocery store and my kids doing this…” and he says something like, you know, “Who’s ever been in that kind of situation before?” and in auditorium B…

Rich – People put their hands up?

Chris – Yeah people all across the room put their hands up and that for me was the clincher that they were watching on video but they were interacting the same as they would in a live experience.

Rich – Yeah it’s so true. Yeah I’ve seen that in so many different venues where people assume if… everyone has a reason why it won’t work in their community, you know, like I’ve talked to folks in California and they’re like, “Well you know, this is the entertainment industry, it won’t work here.” They are like they’re in some part of the country where they perceive that they have a higher level of intellectuals, “I’m not sure this will work.” Or it’s the other way, it’s like, “Well this is like Bluegrass Country, it’s not going to work here.” But generally it works, it works as a strategy for sure.

The other thing I love, I hope people just underline this as we kind of wrap up, is I love that, I think, so many churches get to the point where you got to and they get paralyzed and don’t find a way to multiply and actually that limits the work of God in your church right? Which I know is a scary thing to think about but it’s true right? If you don’t… there’s a part of this that’s like a faith step where it’s like, “We’re going to try this thing and see what happens,” but it is possible for us to slow things down, to slow down the momentum, you know, we’re feeling.

Chris – Yeah.

Rich – Well Chris, I really appreciate you being on the show today. Thanks for taking time out. We’ve come in about 25 minutes, so we’ve had a great conversation, but one thing I want to ask you about before we leave, is I follow you on Instagram and I’m following you on Twitter and what is this about chickens? What is happening in your life with chickens?

Chris – So I have a wonderful wife, she’s amazing, we’ve been married for 12 years and she’s a country girl and we have four kids, we have two dogs and a cat, so it’s not like we’re looking for more things to do right?

Rich – Oh my goodness.

Chris – I don’t know, I mean chickens, it’s something we’ve been talking about for a few years. There’s something, I don’t know, there’s something kind of romantic about like…

Rich – Raising some chickens.

Chris – A little backyard, raising some chickens, having some eggs.

Rich – Yeah.

Chris – Although we’re a suburban church, our house isn’t in a suburban neighborhood, we live a little bit out of town, we’ve got a little bit of property.

Rich – Yeah.

Chris – So we’ve been talking about it for a few years and the time was right and so yes, we are now officially chicken owners.

Rich – Fantastic.

Chris – 16 little chicken meatballs arrived at our house last week. The kids are fascinated, the dogs are fascinated, the cat, like she’s terrified.

Rich – Right, right, right. Well particularly as they grow.

Chris – So they’re in a big rubber container in our living room for a couple of weeks, then move to the basement for about a month, then we’ll kick them outside. You’ll love this because, I mean the real reason is so that my kids can have a job and sell eggs and make some money so that we can go back to Disney.

Rich – Nice.

Chris – That’s the real reason, I know you’re onboard for that.

Rich – That’s great. Well Chris I really appreciate you being on the show today. If people want to get in touch with you or with C4 how can they do that?

Chris – So me personally: chrisfromcanada everywhere, so chrisfromcanada on Twitter. chrisfromcanada on Instagram. Periscope, are you Periscoping?

Rich – I haven’t, you know, I’m an android guy. I was looking for it but I don’t think they have that app yet.

Chris – Ah, sorry to hear that, I’m sorry to hear that.

Rich – I know.

Chris – You can do a whole podcast on Periscope, it’s awesome.

Rich – Yeah it’s cool.

Chris – So people can track me that way and I love connecting with people all over the place, mostly because I learn so much from people who are doing stuff differently from me. So I love to connect that way. C4: is our main site and then on social media it’s c4churchdurham, we’re in Durham region, so c4churchdurham on social media. is our website.

Rich – Nice, well thanks so much Chris, I really appreciate you being on the show, taking time out, I know you’ve got a lot going on but I really appreciate you taking time to be with us today.

Chris – Anytime Rich, thanks man.

Rich – Thanks, bye.

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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.