DAVID MCKNIGHT | PRESIDENT
Satellite campus churches are passing the point of being a trend and have established themselves as a common practice of the modern growing church. Today, the number of multi-site churches actually out-number mega churches. You can find all kinds of multi-site churches today, from internet campus churches, multiple churches in one location to one pastor preaching at multiple campuses and prerecorded teaching shown at multiple locations.
Leadership Network published a recent study identifying a new trend: multi-site churches through mergers — two churches uniting under one name.
What do merging churches do with their present facilities?
One idea you might have is to sell one of the facilities and use the funds to improve the remaining building or pay off a mortgage. The study had two interesting things to say about that: of all the churches that gave information in this study, only one forth of them sold their existing facility. The other factor was that of the churches in the study, the churches that stayed multi-site in lieu of becoming single site were more supportive of considering another merger.
What are the advantages of remaining multi-site?
Remaining multi-site after a merger provides opportunity for a more diverse ministry outreach. A church can reach different ethnic groups, age groups, specific ministry groups and geographical groups when it utilizes various locations. Buildings can be repurposed, at a more cost-effective rate than a new building, to meet the needs of a specific ministry focus at one location. An example would be to operate a child care center where the population of young couples with kids exist while another site would target the senior population. Other ideas? Teen centers, food pantries, culture-specific centers, medical clinics, etc… Ask yourself, “What does our town need? Completely reporposing one of the facilities into offices or a christian school could be a benefit to the multi-site church.
The more ways we reach people the more people we will reach!
Of course the most significant advantage of the multi-site merger is the lives that are touched for the Kingdom! Second place? Repurposing facilities for specific ministry saves money compared to building new space.
See examples of Satellite Campuses and Multi-Site Mergers by The McKnight Group:
Heritage Wesleyan Church, Bettendorf, Iowa
Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dayton, Ohio