Finding a Venue for Your Portable Church Launch

portable church, church venue, mobile church

Launching a new church or church campus this year? We know that finding the right facility is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. Choosing to have church in a rented space, rather than build a permanent building, allows churches to engage with the community in a recognizable building and begin church in a space that can be leveraged differently as growth occurs.

But, what makes a good rental location for a church? Will it be welcoming for visitors? Can we have a thriving children’s ministry? What is included and what do I need to purchase? Will my volunteers be able to set up in that location well?

These questions and many more are covered in our FREE eBook, “Choosing the Right Facility for Your Portable Church.” Download it today by filling out the form below! 

Technical Solutions for the Trader’s Point Christian Church Satellite Campus

In 2015, Trader’s Point Christian Church in Whitestown, Indiana, northwest of Indianapolis, partnered with Portable Church© Industries (PCI) when they made the decision to open a satellite campus instead of increasing the size of their first campus.

Brent Whetstine, production manager for Trader’s Point Christian Church, explained how the congregation decided on going multisite. “Opening a satellite campus in another location where a pocket of your congregation is currently commuting from just makes sense.”

Trader’s Point chose to open their satellite campus ten miles away from the main campus, in Carmel, utilizing Creekside Middle School as its Sunday morning meeting venue.

Effective churches experience growth, and that growth brings the blessing of challenges as well.

“You eventually run out of space, and the church gets so big it can be intimidating. You can only grow so large.”

With access only on Sunday mornings, many things need to be brought in each week for children’s and youth ministry spaces, not to mention all the audio, media and lighting support for the service itself. Trader’s Point turned to PCI for help in making this new campus a reality.

“Everything you need to conduct your worship service and associated ministries is packaged in a way that’s easy to set up for volunteers. It was a good value as well. It didn’t make sense for us to try and re-invent the portable church concept on our own. Everything we need for all ministries is configured to fit into four trailers.”

Signage and way-finding materials were created that both direct people to where they need to be as well as match the church’s existing branding via logos and color choices. “This really helps make the Carmel campus feel like ‘us’.”

PCI consultants met with the church early in the process to determine needs, and suggest material and equipment options. For Whetstine and his team, PCI took on the bulk of the concepts and implementation. “Outside of a few equipment decisions, I really didn’t need to be involved much. They already had scalable solutions that would work for us.”

For Trader’s Point, a D&B line array system with an Allen & Heath Qu-32 digital mixer was selected for front-of-house audio, a 21-foot screen with Barco projectors to provide media support and a large canvas for the “virtual pastor” teaching portion of the service – to stream live in HD from the Whitestown campus. Forty feet of truss was set up on stage, pre-configured with moving lights and LED washes, to be operated from front-of-house via a Jands Vista lighting controller.

All systems were wired into self-contained rolling racks. Lighting was pre-hung on the truss, to be merely rolled in and flown into position. Cable interconnections were designed to be minimal for fast setup.

Whetstine and a team of volunteers were then trained by PCI staff.

“It only takes eight volunteers to unload the tech trailer and have everything ready to go in about 45 minutes. PCI was there with us for that first weekend, and by the end of that weekend our volunteers walked away trained on how to do the setup and teardown. I didn’t need to do that training myself, which was awesome.”

Part of PCI’s objective with providing custom solutions is to help churches save on time and on funds.

“I realize as production director, I’m spending someone else’s offering. The idea of stewardship is a big deal to me. The Portable Church Industries solution helped us get the best equipment for both our budget and the volunteer’s capabilities.”

18 Questions You Must Ask When Choosing a Portable Church Venue

It’s important to ask the right questions when facing a big decision. That’s why we have put together these eighteen common questions that are asked by church planters and multisite campus pastors when a facility is being considered. We hope this infographic will help you on your journey to finding an amazing place that everyone will love for a long time.

Church Launch, Portable Church, Church Plant, Multisite Church, church planters, mobile church, facility, church venue


For more information on choosing a facility for your portable church, download our free ebook, Choosing The Right Facility For Your Portable Church.

Launching Strong – The Secret to Excellence and Volunteer Retention in Portable Churches

The church multisite trends are clear: growth through multiple smaller venues, financial stewardship through leasing, and reaching people in their neighborhoods.1 Yet, churches are leaving traditional facilities in favor of rented spaces that still provide for:

  • Excellent environments for worship, children’s ministry, and community.
  • A culture that matches the DNA of their main campus.
  • Engaged, highly productive and happy volunteers.

There are two common mistakes churches can make when trying to launch strong in a portable campus – the definition of which is one that must be set up and torn down each week. First, churches trying to do it themselves; or second, thinking their permanent Audio, Video, and Lighting (AVL) Systems Integrator will be able to do the portable design with the same excellence they did the permanent campus.

Each approach overlooks the fact that whatever excellent products, equipment, and AVL that is chosen, volunteers will be arriving to church early to set it up and staying afterward to pack everything up. This routine – set up, serve, tear down – repeats week after week after week.

The “secret” to a thriving portable church launch begins with a design that incorporates both excellent products/equipment and the volunteers. Portability design is the most important expertise that a church can bring to the effort of planning for a strong and thriving church in a rented space.

Portable Church® Industries has developed and refined a Balanced Solution portability design process over the past 20+ years through direct, hands-on launch experience with over 2,500 different portable churches across North America. Our solutions have excellent and welcoming worship, children’s, and community environments that volunteers can set up quickly, efficiently, and with excellence. Volunteers in these churches feel valued, invested in, and more excited to serve. In fact, happy volunteers serve more, give more, and invite others more.

Volunteers get very frustrated when tasks are made harder than they need to be. They dislike wasted time – especially on tasks that don’t involve direct ministry. Their excitement and commitment to serve will be tough to maintain if the setup and teardown process is overly involved, time consuming and inefficient.

Launching strong in a rented venue doesn’t have to be frustrating. Engage a portability expert, like Portable Church® Industries, early in your multisite campus journey and prepare not only to launch strong, but to thrive. Learn more at or call us today at 800.939.7722.

1“Why Smaller Churches Are Going Multisite – Rainer on Leadership #296”

Case Story: CityReach Network Endicott

Last year, CityReach Network partnered with Church in a Box® Solutions, a division of Portable Church® Industries, to design custom CityReach sound systems and portable packages for all the churches launching in the network. That included 32 church plants that year alone, with 40+ new launches expected in 2017.

A big goal of the partnership was to save on cost, increase energy for volunteers and allow the pastors to focus on building their teams and community. John Snider is the pastor of CityReach Endicott (CRE) of New York, which launched in September 2016.

John already had experience in logistics for church setup and teardown at a church that had built its own system. When Church in a Box® provided training to volunteers on the first day of using the portable system, an ongoing volunteer plan began.

“At CRE everyone becomes a logistics team member. It takes 15 minutes to set up the kids’ area, 30 minutes to set up the gymnasium. It is not an arduous journey to train, and we can throw anybody into the setup… I’m impressed at how easy the equipment is to use.”

With Church in a Box® providing the custom CityReach package, John was relieved from the challenging responsibilities and perplexities of coming up with a sound system from scratch.

“I didn’t have to spend 9 months finding inventory and shopping for every part. I was freed up not to do all of that.”

What does it look like to work with Church in a Box®? John knows that on any day, if he has a question or problem, he can contact Church in a Box® and get an answer right away, or very soon.

Now, John can instill the vision for the church and focus on people rather than equipment.

Church in a Box® and CityReach Network refined and expanded the systems for 2017 and will continue to work closely together to build the best systems for new church plants in their ongoing partnership.

Jared Bellan, Church Planting Director of CityReach Network, is excited for what is coming next.

“For the planter, it has helped them to have quality sound equipment that has every item they need to launch strong.”

And he feels honored to work with the consultants and designers from Church in a Box®.

“Everyone at Church in a Box® is trying to make it easier for planting churches. They know that most important are people – because church planting is more about people.”

If you will be launching a new campus or church plant, click here to check out  the A/V packages that were designed for CityReach Network and are available to anyone.

Ready to discuss options for an A/V or Full System Package for your church plant or multisite launch? Call us today at 800.939.7722.

23 Lessons from 12 Thriving Movie Theater Churches

We love helping churches get set up in movie theaters. They offer amazing benefits for sound and lighting, children’s areas and ministering to the community. We’ve posted before about the solutions we found for Valley Christian Church in Poughkeepsie, New York when they launched in a movie theater.

That’s why we are delighted to share “23 Lessons from 12 Thriving Movie Theater Churches,” an inspiring article by Rich Birch that outlines several great reasons to move into your local movie theater. He also gives sound advice for making the most of your spot in a public-facing venue and shares photos of twelve churches that meet to worship in a theater. Below are a few of his excellent lessons and tips.

“Typically, movie theaters are the anchor of a larger development in the center of a community. When people describe where your church meets, the people they invite will know where it is…”

“Take a look through scripture and it seems like God’s preference is to reach people in the marketplace rather than in holy places… By meeting ‘in the marketplace,’ you put your church in the midst of where people go about their daily lives. You’re taking the mission to the people rather than asking people to come to you!”

“The needs of a growing church often shift and develop over time. Renting from a movie theater gives you the opportunity to grow into what you need.”

“Renting movie theaters for your church is surprisingly inexpensive when compared to schools, hotels or other options. In fact, many church leaders who rent movie theaters feel like it’s the best-kept facility secret … they feel like they are getting away with something!”

Read Rich’s post “23 Lessons from 12 Thriving Movie Theater Churches” now.

Two Questions with John Roth of Thrive Community Church


We recently took a survey of portable church pastors around the country to find out what was ONE THING they would do differently if they were to start over again, and what was ONE THING they did well when planting their church. Today, we want to introduce you to John Roth of Thrive Community Church. Enjoy!


john-roth-thrive-community-church-2Thrive Community Church | Estero, FL

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Thrive began public worship in August 2014 on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Its mission is to bless and disciple people so they thrive in their relationship with Jesus Christ and others, creating Christian community.

Given the experiences and knowledge you have now as a church planter/pastor, what is the ONE THING you would do differently if you were starting over again?

Clarify with any sending church in writing the financial support and people support they intend to give, making sure they understand their sacrifice.

What was ONE THING you did well when planting your church that you would highly suggest to other planters?

We understood at the beginning this ministry would not rely on one sole church planter. We were able to convince the supporting people that two of us together would be much more successful. I think it would have failed within the first year of worship without both of us. We worked hard as a team to learn to collaborate. We believe it’s Biblical, that Paul in Acts always was accompanied by others in ministry. Adding a second person full time multiplies your chance of success by a factor of 10.

john-roth-thrive-community-church-1John Roth

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John Roth is the missional pastor of Thrive. He’s the husband of Lisa Roth since 1996. They are blessed with two wonderful children, Justin and Emma. John has been a follower of Jesus since childhood and a pastor since 1987.He has led various ministries in the states of Alabama, California and Florida as well as campus ministries at LSU and UF. He received his doctorate in ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary of Lexington, KY in 2012. John and Lisa love cooking, enjoy reading, exercising and being a family.

15 Ultimate Resources for Church Planters



Peter Wagner has famously said that church planting is the “single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven.” However, the journey of planting a new church is far from an easy one. 

Anxiety regarding finances, stress about leadership and uncertainty about success are some of… Click To Tweet

Nevertheless, the right support can help ease the tension and make the journey worthwhile. Well, what better way to seek guidance than to learn from those who have walked this journey before? We have now compiled a list of 15 essential church planting resources by some of the best in the field. Let’s take a look:



  • Online resources:


We need more churches! That is why many leaders have set out to equip and empower church planters by providing easily accessible online resources. In this following section, we have put together a few online resources that can bless your journey as a church planter.


  1. StartCHURCH:

As the name suggests, startCHURCH provides all the information you need to kick-start a church. Here, you will find a list of services, products and conferences to help you with all the essentials. From practical help and tools for establishing a board to sorting out your tax –  startCHURCH covers it all! Explore the website for more information.



This online hub, by Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im, is buzzing with podcasts, courses, event listings and other resources related to church multiplication. With a continuous flow of support from experts such as Todd Adkins and Shawn Lovejoy, this website is bound to offer you key insights regarding church planting. Take a look at here.


  1. Christianity Today’s Church Planting Resource Roundup:

Check out Ed Stetzer’s compilation of blog posts, including 3 Pieces of Advice from a Church Planter to Church Planters and 5 Reasons Established Churches Should Plant Churches. These rich resources will certainly help you take the right steps in the course of your church planting journey. Explore Ed Stetzer’s curated list of resources here.


  1. Ministry Grid:

If you’re looking for training by ministry experts, Ministry Grid is your online destination. Here, you will find over 3,000 exclusive training videos that cover every aspect of ministry.

You can either sign up for the individual plan – perfect for an individual leader; church plan – ideal for a church of any size; or a ministry plan – best suited for building a particular ministry area. Check out Ministry Grid’s 2-week free trial to see if this resource can bless your ministry.


  1. The Exchange:

This widely popular blog offers you valuable insights by seasoned church leaders such as Daniel Im, Gary Corwin and Matt Busby. Here, you will find blog posts such as Church Planting 101, which explains eight time-tested principles of church planting, and Three Practices For Third Space Churches, which explores how churches can flourish in the midst of a cultural shift. There’s a whole lot more waiting for you on The Exchange! Click here to explore all the blogs.



Here is another precious resource for church planters like you. With tons of practical help and insights from the who’s who of church planting, this website will offer you some precious pearls of wisdom. Take a look at all the tips and resources related to church planting here.


  • Church planting networks:

Church planting is difficult and complicated. Click To Tweet

Therefore, it’s crucial to find a tribe of other planters and pastors who can support you during the process. Thankfully, there are several networks created specifically to equip and encourage church planters like you. Here are six church planting networks that can be great support systems for you:


  1. Acts 29:

Whether you are a new church planter or an established church looking for new ways to impact the community, Acts 29 has fantastic resources lined up for you. This church planting network provides assessment, coaching and training that will not only equip you for long-term success, but also help you gain theological clarity. Take a look at all that Acts 29 has in store for you here.


  1. Association of Related Churches (ARC):

ARC provides you with training, both online and in-person, to help you think through the different ‘how-tos’ of church planting. You’ll get insights on everything church planters need to know – right from how to build a launch team to how to implement an assimilation process that works. Click here to see if ARC’s offerings suit your needs.   


  1. Church Multiplication Network (CMN):

Church Multiplication Network primarily helps church planters in the area of funding. So far, CMN’s Matching Fund service has helped fund 408 churches. Who knows, you could be next! In addition, CMN provides necessary training for church planters. Its key programs include CMN Launch, which helps church planters start churches, and CMN Multiply, which equips planters to lead churches. Learn more about Church Multiplication Network here.   


  1. The Summit Network:

Driven by the vision to plant 1,000 churches, the Summit Network aims to equip and support church planters on their journey. With coaching and funding for both individual planters as well as churches, the Summit Network is dedicated to helping leaders like you fulfill the Great Commission. Explore the Summit Network here.   


  1. Eccelesia Network:

Ecclesia is a relational network that equips, partners and multiplies missional churches. This network provides relevant training and residency programs for those called to plant churches. Wondering if Ecclesia is the right network for you? Explore its website to find out.


  1. Stadia Church Planting:

Stadia believes in doing whatever it takes until every child has a church. That is why this network has set out to help those who are invested in expanding the Kingdom with their vision to plant churches. Stadia provides assessments, residency programs and a discovery program that helps leaders recognize their strengths for church planting. Learn more about how Stadia can help you here.


  • Books:

Who doesn’t enjoy a good read? In the following section we have pinned down a few great books that need to be a part of every church planter’s library. Let’s take a look:


  1. Center Church (Zondervan, 2012)

By Tim Keller

Decades of Keller’s own experience in pastoral ministry is captured in this 400-page book. 

Center Church holds great insights for planters and leaders about theology, preaching, revival… Click To Tweet

Tim Keller also talks about the different stages of church planting, where the planter needs to learn, love, link and then launch. This book is widely seen as one of the best resources for church planters. Don’t miss out! Get Center Church here.


  1. Church Planter (Crossway, 2010)

By Darrin Patrick

This book is a must-read for every Christian leader! You will find valuable insights and sound wisdom that will urge you to better root the Gospel in your church. Read this book to be challenged and inspired to be a better leader for Christ. Get Church Planter here.


  1. Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply
    (B&H Academic, 2006)

By Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im

Ed Stetzer’s original book – Planting Missional Churches – gets a ‘bump up’ in this edition with updated research and observations, plus added material by Daniel Im. This book is a tool to help planters create a biblically focused vision and practical strategy for planting.

Pick up the latest edition for new insights in the field of church multiplication. Get Planting Missional Churches here.

You can also check out this full list of books that every church planter needs to read.


What other resources can help and bless church planters? Please leave a comment and share your recommendations with us.

Whether you are an individual planter or a church that is looking to plant a new campus, you are bound to face many challenges along the way. However, with the right kind of assistance and guidance, you can overcome these challenges and move towards success.

Over the last few decades, Portable Church has partnered with many church planters to help them launch successfully. If you are planning to launch a church, we would love to be a part of your journey, too!

Give us a call today at 800.939.7722 and we’ll help make the entire launch a smooth process.

That’s not all! We also have an awesome resource for church planters. Scott Cougill, CEO of Portable Church Industries, shares the five key strategies that can help you launch strong in this FREE resource! You can download Launch Strong: 5 Key Strategies here.

Two Questions with Trent Carpenter of C3 Church


We recently took a survey of portable church pastors around the country to find out what was ONE THING they would do differently if they were to start over again, and what was ONE THING they did well when planting their church. Today, we want to introduce you to Trent Carpenter of C3 Church. Enjoy!


trent-carpenter-c3-church-2C3 Church | Ohio

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C3 started almost 9 years ago in the basement of another church with a true passion to reach people that we felt were missing the Gospel. Close to 9 years later, we have been truly blessed to see God move with hundreds of people committing their lives to Christ and being baptized. We also started a 2nd campus that God has used in a miraculous way to change lives. It’s humbling to watch God continue to free people from addictions, heal and restore marriages, put families back together and most importantly save us from our sins.

Given the experiences and knowledge you have now as a church planter/pastor, what is the ONE THING you would do differently if you were starting over again?

I would develop a crystal clear picture of what the process of becoming a “Disciple Maker” looks like for a person in each stage, along with better systems, etc. to help each person take their next step in following Jesus.

What was ONE THING you did well when planting your church that you would highly suggest to other planters?

We are a church that accepts you wherever you, but cares too much to let you stay there. We did a great job (maybe even accidental at times) of creating a culture where everyone feels loved and accepted when they walk in doors, but that doesn’t mean that we still aren’t going to challenge you in your journey of following Jesus.

trent-carpenter-c3-church-1Trent Carpenter

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Trent started Cross Community Church (C3) while he was still teaching at a local high school. After a few years of bi-vocational ministry, he was fortunate enough to be able to pastor his church full time. When he’s not wrestling with his staff over what the call of making disciples really looks like in our culture, then he’s usually wrestling his kids (son Tayden, daughter Teegan). He’s been married to his wife Johnda for over fifteen years and she’s been one of the greatest examples of a Jesus follower that he’s know.

Two Questions with Tommy Bowman of Mission Church


We recently took a survey of portable church pastors around the country to find out what was ONE THING they would do differently if they were to start over again, and what was ONE THING they did well when planting their church. Today, we want to introduce you to Tommy Bowman of Mission Church. Enjoy!


tommy-bowman-mission-church-2Mission Church | Bloomingdale, IL

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In October 2011, a dream was born in the form of Mission Church. A church that would not just be a church IN the neighborhood but a church FOR the neighborhood. This moves them beyond Bloomingdale where the church gathers on Sunday to take action the other 6 days of the week in their neighborhoods. They call these neighborhoods The 10.


Given the experiences and knowledge you have now as a church planter/pastor, what is the ONE THING you would do differently if you were starting over again?

In order to plant a church, you need a compelling vision. However, a church’s vision usually leaves them with a lot of options when it comes to accomplishing their vision. And most of the options are really good. And they’re really good because you have a blank slate, so every strategy that does anything looks like the right strategy. I would set out from day one to pick the one way you plan to take the first steps towards your vision, and stick to that for the first 3 years. Energy and enthusiasm is never lacking in a new church plant. If anythings is missing, it’s focus.


What was ONE THING you did well when planting your church that you would highly suggest to other planters?

We had a full and great team. Most people told us we were over-staffed. Most people told us to start lean and keep costs low. And while I think there’s some wisdom in that, your staff is what will get your church initially off of the ground. We planted with 6 full time staff, and I think it is one of the few key reasons we grew from day one and have never stopped. I know they exist, but I’ve never known a church planter that started with a small budget and a small team that is thriving three years in.


tommy-bowman-mission-church-1Tommy Bowman

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Tommy is the Executive Pastor at a growing church in Chicagoland. He gets to be a part of redefining church for people in his hometown and the surrounding communities. Everyday when Tommy sits down at his desk, he’s running after a massive, God-given dream. And he can’t wait for tomorrow!

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