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Church Multiplication, Church Planting & Multisite with Daniel Im

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Welcome to the unSeminary podcast. This week we are joined by Daniel Im, an author and teaching pastor at the Fellowship Church in Nashville.

Daniel is from Canada, and he has traveled across the world to help plant churches. He has been in Nashville for the last four years and also works with LifeWay to help provide resources for church planters and multisite churches.

Daniel is with us today to talk about church planting, multisite creation, and what strategies work in different contexts.

  • Know your current context and what “normal” is. // Depending on where and whether or not you went to seminary or bible college, and which church circles or conferences you go to, you are going to be influenced (often on an unconscious level) either toward multisite or toward church planting. Both of these strategies are great. Some can work better in certain contexts than others. Consider who the people are that you look up to ministry-wise and what they advocate.  A lot of times this dictates what that “normal” is for you.
  • Church Plant vs Multisite. // We can think of church planters as entrepreneurial leaders who want to test a new approach or a new model that’s different than their sending church. By contrast, on the multisite side, leaders want to take the same model or a very similar model and transplant that into a new community. Multisite models can have a reputation of being primarily video-driven. But many multisite churches do live teaching or have some sort of hybrid model as well. If you are interested church planting, consider first learning in a campus pastor role at a multisite church. It is a good opportunity which allows you to gain experience, and you may discover that working in multisite is where you are called rather than planting a new church.
  • Be competent in communication. // Campus pastors need to be extremely competent in communication. Part of this is public communication and can be via live preaching or as the primary communicator/host of the campus. When a church considers multisite vs church planting or a combination of the two, if you don’t have someone who can think like a supply chain manager and is passionate enough about communicating that they never get bored of saying the same thing over and over in different ways, then church planting might be a better option for you. Over-communication is necessary in a multisite context and as a result is not the best option for every church.
  • Campus vs Original Site. // You can run in the same circles and speak the same words as someone else, but when it comes down to values and culture there can be a lot of disagreement. When values and culture differ from site to site within a multisite church, it will interfere with growth. Examine the communications, expectations and how the systems are working for the smaller campus vs the original site. Ask the lead pastor what was done to grow the church when it was the size of the smaller campuses. This will help the campus pastors have ideas on how to grow their campuses without trying to use strategies that only work for a much larger location.
  • Resource for campus pastors. // LifeWay has a resource to help develop campus pastors. You can learn more and access it at newchurches.com/campuspastor.

You can learn more about Daniel and his work at danielim.com.

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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.