Many churches have experimented with the multisite method since the model was born—and church leaders have discovered that this approach trades certain problems (cramped spaces, crowds too large to cultivate deep community) for others (leadership misalignment, lack of community identity). Leaders called to reproduce often end up devoting disproportionate time to operational matters rather than to teaching and discipling. Is the 35-year-old concept of multisites still relevant? Is it effective? Are there other emerging models for reproduction that work better?
Barna and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network (CKN) undertook a study of multisite and church plants across the country to discover and define today’s models for expansion. David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, will present findings from this study and best practices for reproduction, including financial and facility impacts, branding and identity, and leadership challenges and opportunities. More on David Kinnaman.
8:00 a.m.: Registration/Breakfast
9:00 a.m.: Main Stage Sessions
11:00 a.m.: Breakout Sessions
12:00 p.m.: Lunch
1:15 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
2:30 p.m.: Main Stage Sessions
Level 5: Gaining Momentum with Multiplication with Dave Ferguson
Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, will share his thoughts and insights that have led his church to become one church with twelve locations across Chicagoland. Dave will challenge leaders to move beyond tactics to pursue exponential expansion. As co-founder of Exponential, the world’s largest church planting organization, Dave has plenty of field experience helping churches go from start-up to sustainable. Growth-oriented leaders will be inspired and challenged to build a vision for radical, rapid multiplication. More on Dave Ferguson.
Leadership Essentials in an Era of Church Reproduction with Jenni Catron
Every era of leadership requires different skills from its leaders. Learn the essential skills and perspectives you and your team will need to thrive in this new terrain of ministry. More on Jenni Catron.
The Multisite Movement: History and Perspective with Jim Tomberlin
Multisite churches were launched in the 1990s as a band-aid solution for megachurches that needed more space. Today, multisite churches have evolved and now serve as an important vehicle of growth for churches of all sizes. Jim Tomberlin, a leading pioneer in and expert on multisites, will share a brief history of how and why this trend gained traction, and where the multisite movement is headed from here. More on Jim Tomberlin.
Mergers, Multiplication & More: What’s Next for Multisites with Wade Burnett
After approximately 30 years, multisite churches are still gaining traction. But what’s next for this movement? Mergers and multiplication may be the next wave for the multisite movement. Wade Burnett, a multisite practitioner and consultant to multisite churches, offers a compelling look-ahead for the multisite movement. More on Wade Burnett.
Churches can only multiply if there are leaders ready to lead at new locations. Join Patrick O’Connell for a fast-paced look at how to fill your leadership pipeline so that you’re ready to grow. As the director of NewThing Network, Patrick will join with other NewThing leaders to share ways to cultivate a culture of leadership development, and a look at the practical skills needed for campus pastors and church planters to shepherd and operate a start-up church. More on Patrick O’Connell.
Join Greg Ligon, vice president and publisher of Leadership Network, for a guided conversation with Jim Tomberlin and Wade Burnett following their main stage talks. Together, the three will explore trends in church growth and reproduction and share insights into what they’re learning from leaders across the country. More on Greg Ligon.
Overseeing a strategically expanding church requires specific leadership skills. In this workshop, Jenni Catron will look at key skills you must gain or strengthen to manage exponential growth in your church. Learn where to focus your energy to avoid burnout and to allow other leaders to thrive. This workshop is perfect for senior pastors, executive pastors, multisite leaders, church planters, and anyone with a vision for multiplication. More on Jenni Catron.
Joe LaPaglia, veteran property developer and facility manager, 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 your fifteenth location. More on Joe LaPaglia.
Branding. Key messaging. Worship services. The experience. The guest experience. Signage. Print pieces. Web. Social media. Next steps. There is much to consider, plan and manage when your church goes multisite or plants. What are the key priorities to consider? What questions need to be asked? Who will be involved? What will you manage closely? What will you let go? What will success look like? We’ll consider various approaches and offer practical communications planning tips and tricks during this session. More on Leah Norton.
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 ever be self-sustaining? What if all campuses aren’t equal socio-economically? How do I build a building for one campus but not for others? The world of multisite finance is a vast one, but enough time has been spent in a variety of contexts to see some insights emerging – both positive and negative. Join us to explore how different multisite financial models affect giving–for better and for worse. More on Julie Bullock.
Jenni Catron, former executive pastor at CrossPoint Church in Nashvhille, TN, and Menlo Park Presbyterian in Menlo Park, CA, will pepper a seasoned group of executive pastors and administrative leaders on the challenges and opportunities of going multisite. Here’s your chance to hear from veteran leaders what they’re learning as they continue to expand into new sites. Bring your questions! More on Jenni Catron.
When a church reproduces, leaders quickly discover that the strategies that worked for managing one site no longer apply when there are multiple locations to oversee. In this breakout, Amanda Lee, former executive director of business operations at Eagle Brook Church, a six-campus multisite church in the Twin Cities, will share her hard-won wisdom on managing multiple locations. She’ll touch on how to adapt leadership and strategies to support the church’s vision for growth, and how to go about establishing systems and financial structures for more efficient, effective church operations.
Amanda will arm you with the key questions to help your staff create scalable systems and processes that work across multiple campuses. This workshop is ideal for senior pastors and executive leaders who are struggling with operational growing pains associated with church expansion. More on Amanda Lee.
Campus pastors face unique leadership challenges. They have to shepherd their own congregation under the authority of a senior pastor who spends the majority of his or her time at a main location. Karen Miller, former executive pastor at Church of the Resurrection and a pastoral leadership coach, will help equip campus pastors with tools to navigate the sometimes ambiguous senior pastor/campus pastor relationship. Senior pastors will also benefit from this workshop, as Miller shares tips for managing campus pastors who may desire more autonomy and leadership authority. More on Karen Miller.
If you want to ignite a culture of strategic expansion, you have to build for one. Do you have an intentional plan for facilities that will enable you to achieve your vision for reaching more people in a geographic area, whether as a multisite, a church plant, or some other method? Drawing from data in the new CKN/Barna study More Than Multisite, Aspen architect Derek DeGroot will explore practical ways for churches to design and build with reproduction in mind. He’ll touch on key design elements that create a cohesive look and feel from one location to another, implications of choosing temporary space over a permanent home, and tips for making temporary space feel more like home. Based on findings from the previous Aspen/Barna study, Making Space for Millennials, Derek will also explore how to tap Millennials and engage them in your church’s vision for expansion. More on Derek DeGroot.
Today, approximately 8,000 churches in the U.S. have gone multisite. Although churches vary their models, we find there are common areas of confusion when it comes to communications. During this roundtable session, facilitated by Shayla Kenworthy, we’ll focus on the most prominent issues: site naming, branding, communications staffing, online presence and internal communications. Come ready to share your thoughts, questions, challenges and victories in leading a multisite church. At the same time, glean new ideas from church leaders that will benefit your church’s approach whether you are just getting started or have been serving in a multisite church for years. More on Shayla Kenworthy.
All times above are Central Time Zone.