HOW TO LAUNCH A PORTABLE CHURCH WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MINISTRY FOCUS
Launching a multi-site church campus is a lot like preparing to take a flight in an airplane — if you ask Wayne Risher, Campus Pastor at Faithbridge Church (Woodlands). You can either invest your time in designing and building the plane or you can work on getting people ready to take the flight with you.
When Faithbridge, a congregation near Houston, Texas, decided to go multi-site, they didn’t need just any size plane. They needed a 747 that was ready for takeoff right from the start.
As Risher describes it, the up-scale suburban environment they serve expected a fully functioning church from day one:
We didn’t want to just build something that was me in the back seat of my pickup truck with my guitar and a couple of lawn chairs around me. We wanted to build something that would be the church from the get-go.
We decided to partner with Portable Church Industries (PCI) to have the plane built while we were making more and stronger disciples for Jesus Christ.
Wayne Fisher of Faithbridge Church
Watch below as Pastor Risher tells how they produced an environment that felt “legit.”
PORTABLE COMMAND CENTER REQUIRED
One high-tech item in particular was critical for launch. With input from the Faithbridge technical team, PCI designed and built a custom control center on wheels that mimics the control center used at the permanent campus.
The lid comes off to reveal a full command center complete with monitors and computers that fully integrate with the main campus.
The similarities in design made it easy for the production team to go back and forth between facilities without missing a beat.
The priority was keeping both the virtual pastor and the IMAG signal in sync because if you start to get a few frames off between your giant 22-foot projection and the IMAG feed, people are going to start to notice.
Watch Bacon describe the collaborative process with PCI
The Faithbridge team got creative with the PCI consultants to find a solution that gave them reliable Internet access and Wi-Fi throughout the facility. Risher loves talking about the technology solutions they developed:
On our pipe and drape — I get excited about these things, sorry! — we actually have Wi-Fi hotspots broadcasting down the hallway to children’s ministry, down to our students, and our truss has electronic hot spots so I can access my electronic bible on-line.
I can download the Faithbridge app and engage with Faithbridge through my electronic check-in right there while in the service.
Via the app, Faithbridge attendees can even ask questions about the sermon. The pastor at the main campus will record a post-script immediately following the service so the questions can be answered by the time they get home from lunch.
Zach describes the experience as a highly collaborative, team effort that kept his Production Team in the driver’s seat.
The One thing Production Teams Need to Know about a Multisite Launch
IS THIS A SCHOOL OR IS THIS A CHURCH?
Risher says the whole-picture approach and the collaborative effort transformed the school from secular to sacred space in way that leaves people asking, Is this a school or is this a church?
The church employs portable check-in units where parents print name and security tags for their children. Once again, these custom units are integrated with the central database so parents have confidence their children are safe and well-cared for during the service.
The Faithbridge system optimized everything for easy set-up, take-down, and efficient storage. Step-by-step instructions make it easy for helpers to step in and help without any advance training, keeping volunteers fresh.
Six trailers – one for technology items alone – house and transport all the equipment each week. But total set-up time generally takes less than two hours.
Takedown of the complex system takes only a little more than an hour, which means volunteers are back with their families for a day of rest before heading back to work on Monday.
Discover More about the Set-up and Take-down Process at FaithBridge
THE BEST APPROACH FOR WISE STEWARDSHIP
Pastor Risher sees their partnership with PCI as wise stewardship of the resources God has given them, stressing they could not have done it themselves:
I couldn’t have gone a la carte off the menu and hired a consultant to give me the solutions I needed in all the ministry areas and then gone out and pieced them together.
I think there is an efficiency there that nobody usually thinks about at the front end. There is a high cost if you don’t plan properly. You are going to lose efficiency, burn out your volunteers, and waste tons of money.
How Their System Choices Proved to be Wise Stewardship
ONE QUESTION FROM A PORTABLE CHURCH PASTOR
Pastor Risher has one question for the campus or executive pastors and church technology leaders thinking about launching a new worship venue with high-tech demands:
While they’re working at PCI, guess what you’re doing? You’re meeting people, you’re having coffees, you’re building relationships, and meeting in small groups at somebody’s house. You are doing the work.
You’re able to get the ministry accomplished—to get people to the gate so when the plane arrives, you’re ready for takeoff.
And the best part is that they have the equipment and systems in place to soar to even greater heights in the years to come.
START THE CONVERSATION WITH PORTABLE CHURCH
Connect with PCI today to schedule a free 20-minute assessment and find out what Wayne Risher, Zach Bacon, FaithBridge, and more than 2,000 other churches have already discovered.
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