Learn from expert church planters before you rush into expanding your church’s reach.
Do you find yourself asking questions like:
“Should we plant a church or should we go multi-site?”
“Which direction is best for our church?”
“Do we have the right people to lead us into expanding our church?”
Perhaps your questions are more personal, like “What is God calling me to do: church planting or multi-site creation?”
You may feel like you’re in a transitional space, but it’s a very normal position to be in. What’s crucial is that you keep in mind that others have been in your situation and there are loads of people out there who have come through it, with valuable information to share. In fact, we have the benefit of experts in this field; people who have researched and invested a lot of time exploring the ins and outs of this entire subject.
Rich Birch and Daniel Im are two such experts and they joined forces on the Unseminary podcast for an insightful chat about church planting. The information shared in this discussion sheds light on some of the most important areas to consider when you embark on planting a church, multi-site creation, and what strategies work in different contexts.
The podcast episode provides all the nitty-gritties of their conversation, but here are three things you should look at as you plot your, or your church’s, way forward.Stop wasting time and resources: learn from long-time experts in church planting, multi-site creation, and what strategies work in different contexts. Click To Tweet
3 Insightful Lessons to Learn From Two Expert Church Planters
1. Church plant vs. multi-site
Oftentimes, church planters can be likened to entrepreneurial leaders. Entrepreneurs inherently like to test new approaches or models and in the case of church planters, this looks like someone who wants to start something different than what is done in their sending church.
Within a multi-site context, leaders have a vision for taking a model that is successful and transplanting it into a new community.
Expert church planters recommend that if you’re interested in church planting and/or multi-site creation, you should invest time in learning and gaining experience as a campus pastor before you set off on your journey to expand the church. The lessons learned as a campus pastor are invaluable and during this period, you will learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, which will ultimately guide you toward where God wants you to serve: in a multisite-site context or a church planting context—or perhaps, to remain a campus pastor.Expert church planters strongly recommend spending time as a campus pastor if you’re interested in church planting and/or multi-site creation. Click To Tweet
Planting Perks: 5 Benefits of Starting a New Church
2. Be competent in communication
You may think that this point is a little strange when it comes to plotting your next steps in expanding your church’s reach. But this is actually a really important point to consider because the communication requirements of going multi-site are very different to that of planting a new church.
For a multi-site church to succeed, effective communication is critical. So, when your church is considering which direction to go in, if you don’t have someone who can think like a supply chain manager – someone who is thoroughly passionate about communicating and never gets bored saying the same thing over and over again (in different ways) – then church planting may be better for your church. This is because you need to over communicate in a multi-site context.
CLEAR COMMUNICATION GOES BEYOND THE STAGE
Look at your campus pastor because they will be your primary communicator/host of your campus; the face that everyone looks to. Is your campus pastor someone who is gifted with good communications? This doesn’t only relate to preaching; consider all facets of communication that is required in running a church.
Most people get bored with reiterating their ideas; however, in a multi-site context, this is what is needed. It is crucial to have someone heading it up who understands that although you’ve said something several times, people don’t hear what you’ve said or they haven’t understood your meaning behind what you’ve said.
Look at your leadership team and consider whether or not you have someone who is gifted in over-communicating. If you don’t, then planting a church is probably the way you should go, which is often the case with churches wanting to expand.
Most people get bored with reiterating their ideas; however, in a multi-site context, this is crucial. If you don’t have someone like this in your leadership team, going multi-site may not be right for your church. Click To Tweet
3. Know your current context and what “normal” is
Your perception of ‘normal’ is heavily influenced by the information and influences that have surrounded you the most. Factors like whether or not you went to seminary or bible college, which conferences you attend, which books you read, or the leaders you look up to all influence your perception of what is normal.
Needless to say, your perception of normal will also influence what you think the next best steps are when it comes to expanding your church. If you listen and read a lot of material by people who have headed up multi-site churches, your thoughts will go to multi-site creation more naturally. However, if the information you take in is largely around church planting, you’ll look in that direction.
Both strategies are good and have numerous benefits to them, however, some ideas or strategies work better in certain contexts, and you should be aware of this when you consider your next steps. Try to investigate various options and evaluate the context of your church’s situation.
Get informed: The One Article You Must Read About Multisite Challenges
TAKING TIME TO INVEST: LEARN FROM EXPERT CHURCH PLANTERS
We don’t need to tell you how valuable it is to invest in good learning opportunities. Branching out into church planting or multi-site creation is no exception. If you listen and learn from expert church planters, you will not regret the investment and the people you minister to, or with, will benefit hugely from your diligence.