Choosing the Right Multisite Church Strategy and Model

The multisite model you choose for your church is only as good as it is sustainable. Your facility and staffing choices will have the most substantial impact on your financial viability, so carefully consider your options.

Giving Thought to Staffing

Your staffing considerations begin with the campus pastor. You cannot just throw anyone into this position. It takes a specific kind of leader with unique strengths and gifts. Also those abilities are not interchangeable. What would make someone a perfect fit for one campus might make them a liability in another.

It is not enough to have someone who understands your church’s mission, vision, strategy, and goals. You need someone gifted at getting things started and with an inward drive to succeed. Identifying the right entrepreneurial leadership skills from the jump will save you from having to relaunch and restart your efforts. If you need a campus pastor, CDF Capital’s Ministry Fit Profile can help you pinpoint your leadership needs.

Should We Buy or Lease?

When it comes to understanding the nuances that go into property and facility decisions, many pastors are ill prepared. You have to structure your budget. You have to understand the market where your campus will live. You need to have a handle on the giving potential of a campus that does not exist yet. These are all variables that an expert can help you to navigate, so I would recommend that you have a professional real estate agent or leasing agent help you from the start.

While it is almost always the goal, in the long run, to buy a permanent facility, it is vital that you are realistic about the steps that will get you to that point. You do not need to launch with a $10 million facility for your multisite to succeed.

Here are a few thoughts considerations to keep in mind when you are looking for a location:

1. Fast-Moving Organizations: growing 15% or more a year

Churches growing at this rate need to be led by people who know how to leverage opportunities and are not afraid to take mitigated risks. If your church is experiencing this kind of growth, be prepared to jump on any school, theater, or community center that comes available for lease. This means you will need to position the church to move quickly when the right lease and a portable situation comes up.

If multisite is in your future, I highly recommend purchasing some of the non-technology inventory you will need. This includes things like trailers, children’s ministry items, signage, sound systems, portable check-in systems, trailers, hospitality equipment, etc. These items take time to accumulate.

If you can swing it and are serious about launching a portable campus, I would recommend you have a campus in waiting. When the opportunity presents itself, you can take advantage of it quickly. As the portable location grows and becomes sustainable, you can keep your eyes open for long-term lease options and a building.

2. Consistent and Steady Organizations: growing 5–15%

If your church is in a spot to make a significant investment to build out a current box store or develop a property from the ground up, this could be a perfect fit for a steadily growing organization. Don’t let the lead time required to build scare you. Just make sure you have a strategy in place to transfer people, and build a core as you work on your facility. There is something about having a permanent facility that speaks to your community, telling them you are here to stay. You may have churches in 10 different schools or theaters in a community yet it is the one who builds and moves into a permanent location that succeeds.

What are your current facility challenges? Do you have the right staff in place to meet those challenges? Do you need to talk with a multisite strategist that can help you ask and answer these questions?

What kind of pastor is right for your campus?

When you take the time to assess your church’s campus needs, culture, and environment, you can match it to the right style of campus pastor. With the Ministry Fit Model tool you will find a proven pattern that will help you retain the best possible campus pastor, reduce turnover, have higher job satisfaction, and reduce conflict and misunderstandings.

If you are interested in learning more, discover your Ministry Fit.