Multisite Essentials: Part 3/3


In Part 2/3, we talked about how multisite is partly God’s divine pipeline for leadership in your church.

Today we’re taking a look at how multisite is:

God’s divine lifeline to the community… from your church


As well as being a pipeline to develop leadership, multisite is also a ‘lifeline’ to the community. A way of connecting with and reaching people as well as meeting the needs of the community in a more ‘present’ way.

Here are a few of the benefits of this lifeline principle:

  • Multisite is a neighborhood church movement. In fact, the rule of thumb would be to have a location that takes no longer than twenty minutes for someone to get there.  This ensures the church is accessible and local and by default builds connections to and within the community.
  • More people are reached because of a greater geographical reach. Because congregations can be started closer to where people live and therefore multiplied through your city or region, more people can be impacted with the Gospel.
  • Perfect for a mobile society as people move, there are options to stay connected. With more people moving, trying to find housing, we have the opportunity to provide options for them to stay in the church community
  • A great model for building healthy, vision led churches in regional communities. I believe the multisite model provides greater opportunity to build thriving locations based in regional centres and out into the surrounding satellite towns.
  • We can target communities with a specific missional focus. With our cities becoming far more diverse, we have the opportunity to allow more local diversity to be expressed in the communities in which we are planting locations and therefore expressing more closely the cultures and people groups that are represented in those communities.


Here are four key principles of the Lifeline

What makes an effective congregation in the community?


1. Team

It is impossible to build an effective multi-site church and be a lifeline into the community without building growing, multiplying healthy teams.

  • One of the most effective ways is to create a universal location team structure. In other words, having the same team structure across the whole church that is replicated in each location.
  • The revelation of core team. One of the central revelations of locations that really work is a well-functioning core team that is consistent in each location and works directly with the Location pastor to build effective teams under each ‘core’ area.  For example, this may include the following core areas: Worship, connect, next step, production, kids, youth
  • Pre-trained team: This is vital for the healthy functioning of a location from day one. Teams that are trained before the launch of the first service.
  • Pre-established team culture: Similar to pre-trained teams is developing and training the culture of teams before the launch of a location. When everyone has a clear understanding of core values in advance, it will mean everyone is building in the same direction with the same heart and a spirit of unity.
  • Team functioning and systems ready for church on day one: Clarifying how teams function, what their roles are, putting all the systems in place and having everyone trained in those systems will definitely allow for the effective launch of a location.


2. Location

Having venue and location that works for the building of a congregation is important for effective reach into the community.   Here are some important elements of the location.

  • The right location… a combination of the best possible venue (available) in the best possible location.
  • Adequately equipped location…ready to do church. The venue needs to have or be able to accommodate all the relevant worship, production, kids and hospitality equipment needed to function for a weekend service.
  • Tested production systems…all these systems need to be tested and functioning well before the launch.
  • Adequate seating, parking & kid’s facilities. Every one of these is important.  Enough comfortable seating.  Adequate parking that is accessible to the venue.  Clean and well-organized kid’s facilities that are safe, secure and appropriate for children of various ages.


3. Location Pastor

Probably the most important decision to be made by leadership is the choice of the Location Pastor

3 key questions when looking for a location pastor:

  • Can they handle the stage?
  • Can they develop leaders?
  • Can they gather people


4. Strong Launch

  • Start strong…grow better

There are many benefits to a strong launch.  Not the least being that the stronger the launch, the more likely that growth will occur sooner in the location.

  • The impact of the prelaunch phase

Prior to launching, there is much evidence pointing to the advantages of doing a ‘pre-launch’ phase. In this phase, there are typically interest meetings, pre-launch gatherings in the chosen venue, and the building of small groups prior to the official public launch.  This does several things.  It helps create a sense of real community before the church is public.  It helps build momentum, so that once services are open to the public, there is an invitation culture already established.  Pre-launch also helps develop strength in teams.  Strength of culture, systems and functioning.

  • There are ‘seasons’ for starting

Experience would suggest that there are better times to start than others.  Typically, the best and most practical start time is Spring and Autumn.  These are also the most typical growth seasons for an established church as well.

Summer is usually a time for families and individuals to get away and have a break.  Winter can often be a challenging time to birth something as well.  Getting people motivated to get out and get involved can be a little more challenging.  As it goes in the natural so it can go in this context as well.

  • Birth ‘mature’ congregations

The aim for the launch phase is to start a congregation that, for all intents and purposes, begins as ‘mature’.  The days of starting ‘from scratch’ and with nothing but three faithful people and an overhead projector don’t have to be relived!

One of the great advantages of multisite (that I believe should be taken advantage of) is the utilizing of resources available.  The leadership pipeline is producing team and leaders that are already trained.  The ‘central’ team is helping locate a venue and set it up for a great launch.  The Kids ministry director is working with you and your Kids overseer to build a kid’s ministry team before the location is launched.  The Worship director is working with your Worship overseer to build a worship team and have impacting worship from day one…you get the picture!

When new people arrive day one of the launch, the experience is positive, the worship is engaging, the welcome teams are in place and the location is ready to embrace new people and to grow immediately!


I hope that this series has helped you gain a clearer understanding of the basics of healthy multisite churches and how to get a solid location off the ground.



Mark Kelsey


Mark Kelsey
November 4, 2021

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