This post was last updated on February 16th, 2012 at 01:07 pm.
Multisite churches and campuses grew out of mega churches as a possible solution to fix churches that were too large and ran out of room in their current facility. The success of these early mega churches led to a conceptual change for smaller organizations that appeared to be stalled in their current growth or looking for new ways to reach a certain area of the community. The synergy that comes out of multiple facilities that share common goals, values, resources, etc is enormous. According to research at Leadership Network there will be 30,000 churches that will merge in the next 2 years or merged in the past 2 years in the US alone. There are similar trends in other countries.
One example of synergy is that multisite organizations with the right video equipment can broadcast the weekly sermon to all the sites. This helps by having a fewer teaching pastors for the entire congregation as a whole and provides synergy among the pastoral staff for other needs. It helps by not spreading the pastoral staff too thin because of the demand of multiple locations. No longer do they have to travel to each site to have separate worship services.
Additionally, small groups can be demographically used to get people plugged into some form of fellowship in their local community and should be used as a launching ground for a new church plant. By providing local community interaction the church is viewed as an integrated part within that community and becomes trusted. The way the church develops relationships in the city can be vastly different than in the rural areas.
Another example of synergy is having software that can link all the sites together and provide information to the whole organization as to the health of each site. Which ones are growing fastest? Slowest? What can we do to help the site that we just launched as a church plant? How many active attendees are we getting every Sunday? What about donations to keep the mission going forward? These are all questions that can be answered by the right software.
Linking campuses with software is only the beginning, however, and there is much more that can be done. What if that same software could provide reporting that summarizes all the data from the various organizations into one report for the entire organization? Or a report that will tell you how many active members you have total and by each site? Or how much was expenses last week in the accounting report for all the sites or campuses? In the early days of church software this was done by hand and took months to roll all this data up to the leadership. Now an organization can get this with a click of a mouse for every multisite church they have and provide the synergy the organization needs using IconCMO+.