Big Ideas in Multisite Central Support | Leadership Network Blog
I’ve just added the second post in a series of three on multisite central support on the Leadership Network blog. This series is based on the Multisite Central Support InnovationLab I am directing for 6 churches from around the country (and Canada!). In this post I share a few of the ‘big ideas’ that teams took away from our time together. You can read Big Ideas in Multisite Central Support in its entirety. There is an excerpt below.
Moving Beyond “With”
The move to central support is part of the overall shift from a church with multiple sites to a multisite church. During the meeting, Jim Tomberlin reminded us that only 15% of the more than 5000 multisite churches make this shift, largely due to the organizational and philosophical changes that need to take place for success. Most multisite churches are content with 2-3 locations because the majority of support for the satellite campuses can be handled relatively well by existing staff at the original campus (although long-term sustainability can become an issue). Also, remaining a “with” church seemingly affords the lead team the luxury of focusing primarily on the original site, although such an emphasis often creates a bit of friction among the other sites due to the lack of attention.
What are some of the other characteristics of churches moving beyond “with”?
- Having a dedicated multisite champion on the leadership team (not just an XP wearing the multisite hat).
- A greater regional-focus in decision making vs. original campus focused.
- Central staff dedicated to support of all campuses.
- A campus pastor at the original campus (see below).
Placing a Campus Pastor at the Original Campus
Placing a campus pastor at the original site is a critical move in a church’s effort to have a more centralized support structure. Making this move does two things:
- A campus pastor at the original site allows the senior leader to focus more globally. Trying to oversee a campus as well as the overall direction for all sites is challenging for any leader, especially as the number of sites grows. By releasing site duties to a campus pastor, the senior leader gains an increase in capacity to lead globally.
- Adding this role at the original site also serves to level the playing field (a bit) by changing the status of the original campus from the “main site” to a site among sites. This move opens the door for a scalable organizational matrix that brings balanced accountability and influence across all sites.