Warren Bird Offers Compelling Reasons for Your Church to Launch a New Campus or Church Plant

Welcome back to another episode of the unSeminary podcast. Today I’m happy to have Dr. Warren Bird back on the show. Warren is the Director of Research and Intellectual Capital with Leadership Network.

Leadership Network has been working with North America’s most influential churches for over 30 years, helping leaders and teams move ideas from implementation to impact. In July 2017 Warren and Leadership Network released a study titled “Five New Reasons Why You DO Want to Launch that New Church or Campus”.

All churches are wanting to reach more people with the gospel, but they’re not always sure what they should do. Should they launch a new campus, plant a new church, or  grow their existing location? No one had done a study of these questions side by side to find out what had the greatest impact. So Leadership Network set out to answer those questions and more, surveying more than 1500 churches about everything from growth and discipleship to what kind of facilities they used. Today Warren is here to talk about some of the insights with us.

  • More millennials. // So many churches are constantly asking what they can do to reach a younger generation, specifically young adults. One of the biggest reasons to start a new church or campus is to attract this group. It can take years to transition an existing church and create a culture that attracts the younger generation, but to quickly reach that group, plant a new campus or church. Dr. Bird’s Leadership Network study found that you can attract 62% more people if you start something new, rather than staying and transitioning an existing church or campus. This is because churches tend to send out a younger crew when launching a new campus or planting a new church, and whatever the age of the leadership is tends to attract that age and a few years younger.
  • More outreach potential. // Another fascinating question the study asked churches is: what percentage of the congregation are inviting friends to “consider faith in Jesus Christ.” Research showed that people attending churches or campuses started in the last five years are 52% more likely to invite friends and family. In fact 80%-90% of growth comes from people inviting new people. These new entities are often more contemporary and are on the cutting edge of attracting new believers.
  • More engagement. // 31% more people volunteer regularly in the first 5 years of a new church or campus than any other time in life of the church. Churches reported that when they started something new, the engagement actually went up significantly. Prevailing churches understand that you need to constantly look for more ways to get people involved and launching new campuses is a great way to do that.
  • More growth. // In its first 5 years of life, a new church or multisite campus typically grows 170% faster than at any other time in the church’s life. How you start sets the pace for who you become. Take advantage of those early days when growth will be at its highest, and encourage older campuses to learn from the growth and strategy seen at your newest campuses. And pay particular attention to leadership development as you grow!

You can find the downloadable report from the study “Five New Reasons Why You DO Want to Launch that New Church or Campus” at as well as a lot more insightful information to help you decide what is best for your church when considering multisite.

Subscribe to Warren’s newsletter at and follow him on Twitter at @warrenbird

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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.