Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Multi-Site Ministry Grows the Church in More Ways Than One

Have you ever made a bunch of photocopies for a special project only to later find a mistake in the original?   If you’re a perfectionist like I am, this kind of thing drives you crazy because then you have to decide if you’re willing to live with it or if you need to take the time to go back, fix it and make the copies all over again.  The bigger the copy job, the bigger of a deal it is to go back and fix your mistake. 

If you’ve spent any time in ministry at all, you know that we are in the replication business.   First and foremost we want to replicate the life of Christ in each and every Jesus follower who is part of our church.  This is why we do what we do - so that God in us can help our lives to match up to Jesus’ perfect example more and more each day. 

But it doesn’t stop there.  Multi-site churches aren't just replicating disciples.  We’re also replicating campuses.   Of course multi-site campuses, just like disciples, are not identical photocopies.  They are unique expressions of the body of Christ in multiple contexts. 

Our Danville campus does not and should not look just like our original campus on Harrodsburg Road.  Our new campus on Richmond Road will not and should not either.  However, even though they are unique expressions, each campus shares identical DNA.  We are replicating the core of who we are and how we function as a church.

In Children’s Ministry this means we are replicating our leadership culture, programming and safety procedures in a way that works on all three campuses.  Since we are copying these core practices, we know it’s a big deal that we get it right.  You don’t want to copy a flawed original. 

That’s why we’ve spent the last several months putting our Children’s Ministry under the microscope, evaluating, modifying and tweaking it to make sure we’re replicating the best possible model. 

Some of the improvements are internal and behind-the-scenes, and parents of kids in our ministry may never notice them.  Others are more external, such as family discussion cards now available in each environment, stage remodels and tighter check-out procedures.   

Ironically, being a part of a multi-site church forces me to practice simple children's ministry.  It forces me and my team to look at the essentials of what really matters in our ministry.  We have to look at every program, every procedure, everything we do and ask, "Does this make sense on other campuses?   And if not, why are we doing it here?"

In the end it leads our team to implement best practices that we would want to do even if we just had one single campus.  Multi-site just makes it obvious what those best practices are.  

That’s why I love being a part of a multi-site church.  Not only do our multiple campuses give us huge opportunities to reach more people, they also refine the way we do church.  Each new campus makes every campus better. 

1 comment:

  1. One of the best takes on multi-site I've seen, heard or read. Wonderful illustration.