MULTIPLICATION & My 7 Principles for Launching Multiple Worship Venues, Campuses & Times

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/19/15.

For 20+ years I’ve seen that offering culturally different worship encounters can help connect more cultures in a community to God.  But, adding a new worship encounter has its caveats.

Here is my “short list” that I use to help clients see the basics of multiple worship encounters.

First, there are two equally important goals.

GOAL 1:  The first goal is the Great Commission to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Thus, getting new attendees into small groups where they can grow along with others is a major objective.

GOAL 2: The second goal of a new worship service is to create a culturally relevant worship encounter.  It is not a performance, nor a time to create mini-celebrities.  It is a time to foster an encounter with God.

Everything should revolve around these two goals.  If it does, then here is the short list of things you must do to create a new worship encounter for an existing church.

Here are the key principles for starting a new service:

1.    The people who design a new worship encounter should demonstrate that they are missionaries to that culture, or that they are from the culture you are reaching out to.
2.    Ensure you can financially sustain a new service for 18 months, before you launch it.
3.    Make sure you have duplicate leadership too (start training them now, telling them that soon we will launch a new service and they will lead it).
4.    Pick a venue that will be at around 35% full with your projected attendance.
5.    Have small groups (Sunday Schools, etc.) ready before or after all worship encounters.
6.    Keep the worship encounters to 50 minutes total (with 15-20 minutes between services) if you can 😉
7.    Also, make sure your overall attendance is at least 100 before you start a new service.

  • Then ask 50 people to agree to come to the new service for one year (make a covenant to do this, usually written.
  • At the end of that time, they must either recruit someone to take their place, or re-up for another year.  The idea is to create the minimum number of attendees necessary for worship to break out in a larger gathering: usually 35+ people.
  • Thus, with 50 committed, you will usually have 35 in attendance and your new service can grow.

If you follow these principles, you can avoid what these video portray – the temptation to succumb to a largely attractional tactic (ugh!):

Speaking hashtags: #StLiz