Multi-Site churches have emerged in the church ministry as a new strategy for expansion beyond traditional demographic and geographic lines.
In addressing the new ministry approach, the Multi-Site Conference has been scheduled to take place in Chicago on Oct. 24-25 to help leaders gain insights and discover the latest innovations for impact in the church.
"There are two things I love about the multiple video/venue approach," says Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church. "First, it allows multiple options in styles and times of services. Second, and more important, it allows the large church to feel smaller. The truth is pastors are the only people who like huge services. Members put up with the large size because of the teaching, programs, and ministry opportunities offered. If they could find those things in a smaller church, no doubt they would be there, in my view. ... We intend to grow through the multiplication of smaller venues on our campus."
The Multi-Site strategy allows one church to meet at multiple locations whether they are extension sites, digital churches, satellite ministries, or other variations. In addition, new models and understandings of leadership are developing through the ministry.
North Coast Church is one of many churches at the front line of using the multi-site approach to address the growing congregation.
"Several of my staff members and I visited North Coast Church in 2001 for a weekend," said Craig Groeschel, founding pastor of Lifechurch.tv. "Our two days with Pastor Larry and his staff proved to be valuable beyond our greatest expectations. Through the North Coast team, God opened our eyes to ministry opportunities we had never dreamed possible. Larry's integrity, gifted leadership, Kingdom heart and generosity are changing the way church is being done all across our country."
Octobers Multi-Site Conference will feature speakers Dave Ferguson, who helped launch Community Christian Churh in Chicago, Larry Osborne, senior pastor of North Coast Church and Greg Surratt, founder and senior pastor of Seacoast Church.
To register, go to www.multi-site.org. An early bird registration discount is available until Aug. 31.