It used to be that there was essentially only one kind of church – the kind with a building and a steeple. The kind with its own pastor and its own staff and its own leadership. And when that church was planted, it might have a lot of support from parent churches and denominations, or it might only have a little. But at the end of the day, that church stood all by itself, and plenty of them aren’t standing anymore.
Today, there is a new model emerging for the way we reach people. It doesn’t replace the old model, but rather adds to it. It is experiencing great success not just in making churches larger, but in reaching the goal that Jesus gave to us – reaching people who are far from Him. This model is called ‘Mulit-Site’. A multi-site church is essentially one church operating in multiple locations.
Why would a church do this?
A church should consider expanding it's campuses when:
1) It has a unique DNA (style, personality, mission, structure)
2) That DNA can be duplicated
3) The church is healthy (not divided or fighting)
4) The church is already reaching people in another community who are driving some distance to come to church
5) An analysis of the area under consideration reveals a likely success
This is a philosophy at which the business world has been thriving for decades, and now the church is catching on. Through the multi-site movement, churches:
• capitalize on their success,
• do what has been proven to work,
• take advantage of their recognized name and community goodwill,
• offer the benefits of the large church in smaller church environments,
• and ensure that new plants do not stand alone, because they are truly integrated and are fully a part of whole organism.
I do understand that some are nervous about our becoming a multi-campus church. It's an unknown for us...and it's a change. But in all of the questions that are still left to be answered, this one thing is sure: God called us to reach people. We're not supposed to be comfortable...we're supposed to be available. Like Nehemiah, PCC positioned herself for whatever opportunity God opened, and He opened one.
Is there risk? Yes. I don't know what the future holds, how many will come on the first Sunday or how many will be coming in a year. But I am sure God is in it. The journey has been long and filled with prayer. And people are going to come to know Jesus Christ. That's why we do what we do.
The multi-site model will enable us to do it more effectively than ever before. It defines our new tag line: PCC: One Church. Multiple Locations. Powhatan. Westchester. Online. …and beyond.
I'll answer more questions on this blog...so keep reading it.