Thank you for listening in to this week’s unSeminary podcast. We’re focusing on the multisite movement this month and today we have Greg Ligon, the chief operating officer at Leadership Network joining us.
Leadership Network provides tools and resources to help churches reach and impact more people for Christ. They gather innovative church leaders together to learn from each other and then communicate those learnings to the broader church community.
Greg is with us today to talk about where multisite is headed in the future.
- Rethink the models. // Some of the churches who were early adopters and innovators at the beginning of the multisite movement are now at a place where they are looking to grow in new ways. Leadership Network gathered some of the leaders from these churches and took them to corporate environments, such as Chick-fil-A, Google and Marriott to name a few, to gather new input and begin rethinking what the multisite models are. For example, early on churches thought the focus was only on video, even though historically that wasn’t really the case. Now an emerging focus is on digital space.
- Consider the digital world. // What does it mean for a church to be “digital”? Crossroads Church in Cincinnati is beginning to measure not only the people in their physical campuses, but also who shows up to their online campuses. They customize online feeds based on zip codes so that people logged in will see a customized stream of the campus service located in their area.
- Mobile pop-up campus. // Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens is experimenting with what they call pop-up church. In this model, once or twice a month Christ Fellowship takes the equipment from a portable campus to another location in their region where they might consider a future campus. By experimenting with a pop-up church once a month in a new area, they see what kind of a response they might get to a possible campus there.
- Innovations in the digital space. // There continue to be refinements in what it means to have an online campus. Churches are doing more and more beyond simply broadcasting the weekend experience. Some are using podcasts in a targeted way to reach a particular audience or demographic in their community that might not otherwise be attracted to the church. In this way, podcasts serve as an introduction to the church. Another example from Crossroads Church is the app they’ve created called Crossroads Connect. Through geo-targeting capabilities, the app identifies where its users are located and helps build community across the country by connecting people with other users in their area. It also opens the door for ministry opportunities and allows Crossroads to see where their are concentrations of people in cities. Down the road, this could lead to a member of the Crossroads team moving to the area, building community and eventually starting a campus there.
- Creative partnerships. // There isn’t any slowing down in the multisite world. Churches are looking for opportunities to develop creative partnerships with other organizations in their communities. Crossroads Community Church, for example, has partnered with Aspen Group to co-build a community sports facility which they use as a campus venue, but Aspen manages and operates to serve the community. Crossroads Community also has a partnership with Alpha and as they go into prisons, they have asked Crossroads to consider establishing campuses within the prisons. Greg anticipates we will see more creative applications of multisite as we move into the next decade.
- Examine a change in support structure. // When churches decide to go multisite, they need to revisit the support structure they’ve put in place as the church grows. The current model may work well with a second campus and even a third. But once the number of campuses grows beyond that, the leadership needs to examine a change in the staff support structure and commitment to multisite.
- Learn more about online church. // Want to explore why and how churches of various sizes are communicating through online channels? Register for the free webinar Behind the Screen: The State of Online Church, hosted by Living As One and Leadership Network.
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