Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Summit Church ‘backed into multisite’ because their facility couldn’t hold their growth. This also occurred at one of the earliest examples of the ‘alliance model’ church: St. Thomas’ Church in Sheffield England (see ‘The Healthy Church). Their growth in a highly post-Christian UK culture made me realize that multisite was one of the best ways to multiply a church’s impact – especially amid a postmodern/resistant culture. I explained how St. Toms ‘backed into multisite’ in Ryan Bolger’s (ed.) book ‘Gospel after Christendom.’ For more insights read the article below based on research by my colleague Warren Bird.”
New research gives a glimpse of the movement today
by Aaron Earls
“Multisite can mean many things and can take on dramatically different forms. But for the vast majority of churches, multisite means one thing—growth.
New research for the Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard found 85 percent of multisite churches are growing and doing so at a strong rate of 14 percent per year.
One of those churches, The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, “backed into multisite,” according to Rick Langston, lead pastor of strategic develop.
Today, Summit is one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America. In 2005, the church sold their property and was meeting in a high school. As they continued to grow, a new permanent location became necessary. But what would they do in the meantime?
“We owned a small church building near our original location,” says Langston, “and it seemed like a good idea to provide worship services there for the people who had lived in that community for so long.”
It wasn’t until they started meeting in three locations that they really understood what it meant to be a multisite church. Now, with seven campuses and a Spanish-speaking congregation, Langston says they’re still learning.”