U.S. Pentecostals Push Multi-Site Church Strategy

The Assemblies of God is moving forward with a resolution it recently passed to facilitate church planting particularly using the increasingly popular multi-site strategy.

"Prior to the adoption of this resolution, it was difficult to give recognition to the missional value of these sites," Steve Pike, national Church Planting director, told the denomination's publication.

"If it's true that what gets recognized gets done, then being able to recognize the evangelism and discipleship that is taking place through these new ministry outlets should result in even more people coming to faith in Christ."

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During the 53rd General Council in August, Assemblies of God delegates approved the Parent Affiliated Churches resolution which encourages a new church planting methodology. Recognizing that an increasing number of churches are dependent upon the parent church rather than the larger district, the Pentecostal group chose to make a provision for "Parent Affiliated Assemblies which shall be under the supervision of a parenting church, in accordance with the parenting church's constitution and bylaws."

Parent Affiliated Churches was added to the existing categories of General Council Affiliated, District Council Affiliated and Cooperating assemblies.

Parent Affiliated Churches are essentially multi-site churches. The Assemblies of God defines them as outreaches of an existing church that result in a worshipping community.

According to Pike, Assemblies of God churches have already formed over 200 multi-site venues.

"The number of AG churches that are using multi-site strategies to increase their ministry scope has grown dramatically over the past few years," he said, according to the denomination.

The jump coincides with the explosion of multi-site churches across all churches in the country. Researchers from the Leadership Network estimate there are currently 3,000 multi-sites, up from 300 in the year 2000.

Recognizing the success and potential of the multi-site methodology, the Assemblies of God has scheduled events and training beginning this month to educate members about the new strategy and equip them to become Parent Affiliated Churches.

"We already have plans for four boot camps designed specifically for PAC/multi-site churches for next year," said Leo Crosby, marketing and communications director for the Church Multiplication Network.

The new multi-site push is part of the Assemblies of God's effort to become a church planting and church multiplication movement. The Church Multiplication Network was formed in 2007 to encourage churches across the denomination to work together and plant as many churches as possible.

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