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Multi-site Churches: Friend or Foe?

It is safe to say that the church has embraced the idea of multi-site ministry today.  Most churches of any larger size either have another campus or are considering moving in that direction.  Trends come and go in the church community, but the multi-site movement seems to be here to stay for a while.

Pastors and churches that are praying about moving to a multi-site ministry have many things to consider.  Even within the multi-site idea, there are several options to consider in how one is set up and functions.  An example would be that one site video streams the senior pastor from the main campus, while the other has a pastor speak in person at that particular site.  Although the trends show they are popping up all over the place; does multi-site ministry really help the church in its overall mission and engage more people in worship?

Some say multi-site churches take away from the overall goal of creating true discipleship among the members.  Others say it increases engagement because it allows more members to join who otherwise would not have been able to.  Either way, there are pros and cons to multi-site churches:


1) Smaller is better: The mega church can seem intimating and limits overall participation and engagement within the church.  The additional site gives much more opportunity to serve.

2) Broadens your reach: An additional site allows a church to target a high growth area to reach the un-churched.  Most churches aren’t relocating these days due to expense, etc…, so the multi-site helps take the church to the people.

3) Community-driven: Gives the church a great opportunity to impact another community of people that otherwise would not have happened with one location.  This also allows you to expand your local mission efforts in your area to be a blessing to those in a greater radius around the new multi-site campus.

4) Convenience: People don’t want to drive too far to worship.  Thus, an additional site allows you to be near many more potential families who can drive to your site within a few minutes.


1) Lack of connection to pastor. With the video model in a multi-site setting, there is often a disconnection with members and the senior pastor.  They never see the senior pastor because he is at the main campus.

2) Resource issue. It takes a lot of money to pour into a multi-site church.   Someone has to ask the question, “Is there a better way we could use these dollars to funnel in another direction to have even greater impact for the Gospel?”

3) Competition-factor. It can almost feel like you have two churches competing to see who can grow the largest.

4) Technology. Sometimes the multi-site in an effort to reach this next generation of young people will put more focus on the experience which takes away from the spiritual purpose of worship.

Each church, along with their leadership, must weigh what God would lead them to do as far as moving to a multi-site venue.  If done well and in God’s timing, it can result in a huge blessing for the main church and the additional site.  Extreme prayer and some strategic planning goes a long way in knowing what is best for your church and your community.

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