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A Few Thoughts on Multi-Site Churches

Branching OutI have just left the staff of a church with eleven campuses and many more to come. While at Saddleback Church, we helped Mars Hill Church start a campus right in our own neighborhood, unselfishly. We Christians love to do two things with trends: a.) jump into them too quickly and b.) criticize them too harshly.

I see plenty of arguments against the multi-site trend, and while I think it’s good to hear the criticisms so that we evaluate the tough questions, let me throw out a very important and often overlooked fact… people are lost, dying, and going to hell without the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Multi-site churches piping in video can’t be personal can they? I could easily argue a big fat YES, but I won’t. I’ll just remind you that people are lost, dying, and going to hell without the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Multi-site churches are treating the church like a fast food chain that offers franchise licenses. I think this one is a silly arguement. Why? Because people are lost, dying, and going to hell without the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe we need more franchises opening.

Multi-site ministry is a fad that too many churches are jumping into who aren’t really ready for it. Yep. I’ll agree with this. Some churches are doing it that perhaps shouldn’t be, but… people are lost, dying, and going to hell without the gospel of Jesus Christ. How I wish every church should be accused of being too aggressive and trying too many methods to reach the lost.

Multi-site ministries make existing local churches feel insulted, intimidated, or ignored. I really do hate this one. I can sympathize with the feeling. But if people are lost, dying, and going to hell without the gospel of Jesus Christ, then maybe we should really be cheering (when we hear about the new “campus” coming to our neighborhood), “Yes! Help is on the way! Let’s get this great commission fulfilled together!”

Jesus promised that His kingdom would expand and fill the land. The great goal of God is to “fill the earth with His glory.” Why is it that we’re so touchy about having “too many churches” in any particular locality? I thought the goal was to permeate, infiltrate, and keep on spreading the gospel and planting churches until everyone is reached. I think there is plenty of room for more churches of ever shape, size, and flavor.

Maybe we need a reminder that people are lost, dying, and going to hell without the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Graphic by Laura M. K. via CreationSwap