We launched our second physical Faith Promise campus last Fall, and I have been thinking a lot about that lately. We got a late start because of some initial delays, with our soft launches happening September 19 & 26, 2010. We’ve learned a lot through the process, and I’d like to share some of the thoughts:
- Most things take longer and cost more than expected. Dr. Chris Stephens
- Get help from others. We used consultant Jim Tomberlin of Multisite Solutions. Jim was highly recommended and he helped us formulate a plan that worked. Since we had no experience, that was significant in the success of the launch.
- Ask lots of questions. Jenni Catron at Cross Point in Nashville answered tons of questions and made us realize that we were not going insane during the process (or maybe she confirmed it).
- The transition will be more difficult than you expect. Tons of things are impacted by multisite – especially communication. As long as we planned and as strategic as we were, there were still areas that I did not expect to be impacted by multisite. If you do not have a culture of change and adaptation, be weary of multisite.
- Prepare your entire church for multisite, not just those in the launch. We were intentional about creating buy-in from the entire church. I think that made our launch more successful.
- Hire the right Campus Pastor. Nothing can be more important, particularly in the first location. We hired a person who had the DNA of FPC and had been at the church for 10 years. It was significant in the success.
- Don’t plan on replicating everything, just the essential things. A church of 600 does not need what a church of 3400 needs. Try to evaluate the needs of each location and launch with those things. (This is challenging because it is hard to remember what is essential at different levels).
I could go on and on, but remember that multisite needs to be right for your ministry and a leading of God. We literally talked and prepared for multisite for 5 years (a little to long). Today, our Blount Campus averages over 600 in attendance, after beginning with only 225 people.
What multisite experience would you share to help others?