9:15 a.m.: Main Stage Session

Multisites & Church Plants: What’s Now, What’s Next for These Movements | Dave Travis

Dave Travis 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerWhat are the issues facing multisites and planters now? And what does the next wave of these movements look like? Dave Travis will bring his 20-year experience of these models to the conversation and help leaders think through what is “over the next hill” for multisites and church plants. More on Dave Travis.

Schedule At A Glance


9:45 a.m.: Main Stage Session

Church Mergers: The Unintended Consequence of the Multisite Movement | Jim Tomberlin

Jim Tomberlin 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerThe More Than Multisite Aspen/Barna report reveals that 1 out of 3 multisite campuses are the result of a church merger, and 35% of multisites have experienced two or more church mergers. Once seen as a last resort, lose-lose option, church mergers have become a viable win-win for struggling and stuck churches as well as strong churches. Jim Tomberlin, co-author of Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work, will share why church mergers are happening in an unprecedented way, and the opportunities, challenges, and keys to a successful church merger. More on Jim Tomberlin.

10:15 a.m.: Main Stage Session

Continuing the Conversation | Dave Travis + Jim Tomberlin

In a brief follow-up interview, Marian Liautaud, Aspen’s Director of Marketing, will pepper Dave and Jim with questions to explore even further into trends that are shaping the multisite and church planting movement.

10:35 a.m.: Main Stage Session

New Life Restarts | Mark Jobe

Mark Jobe 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerFrom one church of 18 people to several thousand meeting at more than 25 locations in Chicagoland, Pastor Mark Jobe will share the New Life Restart story. Church leaders will gain inspiration and practical tips on how to combine the strengths of two churches in order to form a more powerful and lasting merger that can take root and thrive. More on Mark Jobe.

11:00 a.m.: Breakout Sessions 1

Having a Bold, Biblical Perspective on Money in Your Church | Julie Bullock

Julie Bullock 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerSo you’re launching your next site or church location. What are you reproducing? A healthy view of money or an unhealthy one? How can we talk about money at a new church location or site when we know the reason people don’t come to church is that they think all we want is their money? Can’t we wait a while to talk about it and let the more “seasoned givers” carry the load for a while as the site gets off the ground? Join us for a fresh take on biblical generosity and how you can winsomely and boldly challenge the givers in your church from day one. More on Julie Bullock.


4 Keys to Strategic Site Selection | Joe LaPaglia

joe-lapaglia-400x400-2017-alignment-conferenceJoe LaPaglia, expert on facility management and president of Aspen VIP, will share the four key criteria for rating commercial properties and evaluating properties for adaptive reuse. This “Real Estate Development 101” workshop will equip church leaders with essential information for making smart property decisions, whether it’s your first or fifteenth location. More on Joe LaPaglia.


Your Communications GPS to Cast Vision and Launch New Locations | Leah Norton

Leah Norton 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerThe planning as your church launches a new location (or multiple new locations) is significant. There are many turns and steps in the journey. Do you know the way as you communicate with your congregation, key leaders and volunteers? What about as you reach out to your community and others online?

The support for and success of a new campus can rise (or fall) with (or without) clear and compelling vision and communications. Communicating with multiple audiences – both internally and externally – is a key waypoint as you launch a new location. This session will address what to consider and communicate ahead of the launch of a new campus to build awareness, anticipation and support. We’ll also discuss what to communicate throughout the launch and ongoing to those at the new location, to your full congregation, in the local community and online. More on Leah Norton.


Conveying Your Church’s Identity Across Multiple Locations | Lynn Pickard + Megan Bruinsma

lynn-pickard-400x400-2017-alignment-conferencemegan-bruinsma-400x400-2017-alignment-conference-speakerAs branding and storytelling become more relevant, church facilities need to tap into this through consistent interior design elements that visually express their story and connect each location’s neighborhood and shared DNA. In this session, interior designers Lynn Pickard and Megan Bruinsma will offer practical ways to create a cohesive design from campus to campus, highlighting examples of churches that do this well. More on Lynn Pickard and Megan Bruinsma.


Why Succession Plans are Critical for Multisite Churches | Dave Travis

Dave Travis 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerIn the past 10 years, larger churches have not only realized the importance of sound succession plans but have begun to develop workable processes and plans for planned succession. Multisite churches add a new level of complexity to the equation. As many first generation multisite churches move toward that point in their history, Dave Travis will share some of the key questions and paths to help address these issues productively?  More on Dave Travis.


1:15 p.m.: Breakout Sessions 2

Financial Models for Multi-Site Expansion | Julie Bullock

Julie Bullock 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerHow does our budget change now that we have multiple locations? What if all campuses aren’t created equal socioeconomically? How do I build a building for one campus but not for others? Does each campus have its own budget apart from the overall budget? Do campuses “pay back into the center a certain percentage?” Are campuses ever supposed to be self-sustaining? Join us in this session to explore how different multi-site financial models affect giving – for better and for worse. More on Julie Bullock.


Beyond Bricks and Mortar: Launching Your Next Church...Online | Dana Byers

dana-byers-400x400-2017-alignment-conferenceAre you feeling called to launch your next church online? Curious about whether an online church can provide transformative discipleship, worship, and community? Dana Byers, a pioneer in the online church movement, will sort out the opportunities and challenges of launching a church with a web address instead of a street address.
Based on her extensive online church experience as the Associate Church Online Pastor at Life.Church, Dana will help crack the code on best practices for building a church without bricks and mortar. More on Dana Byers.


Multisite Panel Discussion: If I Knew Then What I Know Now | Moderated by Leah Norton

Listen in as multisite campus directors and pastors share lessons learned in launching and leading multisites campuses. Get ready to hear some of their “in the trenches” experiences!


  • Jason Pongratz, Multisite Campus Director, Northview Church, Carmel, IN
  • Joe Graham, Multisite Director, Harbor Churches, Grand Rapids, MI


How to Make Temporary Space Look and Feel Like Your Church | Lynn Pickard

lynn-pickard-400x400-2017-alignment-conferenceMany church plants and start-ups launch from a temporary location, such as a movie theater, school gymnasium, or a local YMCA. In this breakout, interior designer Lynn Pickard will address key design concepts to help you leverage the unique opportunities of your portable space so that you can build your church’s identity and create a worshipful environment in whatever space your church launches. More on Lynn Pickard.


Should My Church Multisite? | Jim Tomberlin

Jim Tomberlin 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerGoing multisite is not for every church, so how do you know if it is right for your church and when? Seasoned multisite pioneer and consultant Jim Tomberlin will help you determine if multisite is right for your church and the next steps forward. More on Jim Tomberlin.


2:35 p.m.: Main Stage Session

Multisites ❤ Neighbors | Brooke Hempell

Brooke Hempell 2017 Alignment Conference SpeakerWhen Jesus gave us the great command to love our neighbor, what models of church did he have in mind? Many multisite leaders feel strongly called to this local vision – to love their neighbors well, be part of the restoration of a community, attract those who need relationship, and be “incarnational” in reaching their city or region. Generational shifts in the way Christians live out their faith underscore the relevance of this vision, and multisites and church plants are uniquely suited to meet some of these needs. Taking a deeper look at Barna’s study More than Multisite, Barna’s head of research will connect some of these best practices with other recent Barna research to give leaders a clear picture of how multisite churches can love their neighbors well. More on Brooke Hempell.

3:05 p.m.: Main Stage Session

Continuing the Conversation | Brooke Hempell

Brooke Hempell and Marian Liautaud, Aspen’s Director of Marketing, will discuss some of the significant aspects of our culture and the More Than Multisite research, and answer audience questions.

3:15 p.m.: Main Stage Session

Senior Pastor Panel Discussion: What We Learned on the Way to Launching New Churches

Growing from one church site to many takes vision, strategy, and the ability to execute on the plan. Get in the trenches with senior pastors from innovative, growing churches as they share how they’ve expanded their church’s footprint within their geographic area, what it’s taken them to get where they are now, and what’s next.


  • Tom Elenbaas, Senior Pastor, Harbor Churches, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Steve Poe, Lead Pastor, Northview Church, Carmel, IN
  • Mark Jobe, Senior Pastor, New Life Churches, Chicago, IL

3:45 p.m.: Main Stage Session

Is It Time to Launch Your Next Church? | Mark Jobe

Pastor Mark Jobe will summarize the day’s learning and offer an inspirational view for the future of your church. More on Mark Jobe.

All times above are Eastern Time Zone.