MULTIPLICATION & Now More Than 8,000 Multisite Churches

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “Before it was popular, I was championing a multi-site church growth strategy almost 30 years ago. I noticed that they had a higher survivability rate than church pants, were fiscally healthier because they shared their assets and had better leadership mentoring and development. This trend, which I begin advocating in my first book (now 12 books later) is an effective strategy for church leaders of growing churches to consider. Check out this latest research from my colleague Warren Bird then also check out my “4 Models of Multi-site Churches Evaluated & Appraised” in a Great Commission Research Journal article or my book “The Healthy Church.”

by Warren Bird, LeadNet, 8/1/15.

multisite map

The latest multisite research affirms that the growth of “one church meeting in two or more locations under one overall leadership and budget” shows no signs of slowing down. Yet even as the movement continues to expand, many significant themes are developing in how churches do multisite.

Overall the news is optimistic: Multisite churches grow faster, have more lay participation and reach more new believers than single-site churches.

These findings are featured in the Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard, a major report releasing in March, which draws from a huge Leadership Network survey and is also supplemented by two other major studies. Key points will be forecast over the next several issues of this publication.

Impact of Multisite – By Broadest Definition

• 5 million – the number of people who worshipped at a multisite church last weekend in the United States alone, according to the National Congregations Study sponsored by Duke University

• 8,000 – the number of multisite churches currently found in the United States, according to the same study. (The wording of that survey allowed churches to call themselves multisite if they had multiple venues–such as services in the sanctuary, chapel and gym, but all on one campus.)

• 9% – the percent of all Protestant churchgoers who attend a multisite church

• 3% – the percent of all Protestant churches that are multisite

• 80% – the percentage of US states that have known multisite churches. Over 40 have known multisite churches, as do Washington D.C., Canada’s 9 largest provinces, and several dozen other countries, all according to Leadership Network’s database and its list of global megachurches.

Multisite as Door Opener

Multisite has opened new doors for leaders such as those at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.

A member of one of Summit’s six locations was serving a needy family in a neighboring city. As the relationship developed and the person being helped expressed an interest in attending church, the Summit member was able to connect them to a Summit campus closer to home.

“It was a good example of one church reaching out across a larger metropolitan area to meet needs,” says David Tran, one the Summit’s pastors. “Our congregation really gets the vision of the church to be a Gospel-centered community that is here to reach people and bless our city.”

J.D. Greear, Senior Pastor, adds, “We can bless people when we are closer to them. That’s why we plant campuses—to bring the ministry closer to home. The entire church gets excited about it and gets behind it,” he concludes…

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