Many church leaders could write out a list of tasks and priorities for launching a new site. More challenging is having an effective communication plan and solid timeline for sharing the vision, building the team, and creating anticipation that leads up to the launch. What steps are most important to start with? How much time do you need, from start to finish, to build a core group and launch a new site? When is the right time to ask people to make a commitment? What should we be doing to get the word out?
What can we learn about church multisite strategy from the business world? As a communications specialist for churches, I am always looking at what's going on in our culture at large, not just within the church world, to help churches communicate clearly and carry out their mission. What are companies doing? What are stores doing? What are coffee shops doing? We want to learn from them what we can and apply those lessons to our ministries and churches.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Aspen Group engaged with West Bridge Church in 2014 to determine the feasibility of expanding and renovating their current facility. Located about 20 miles outside of Indianapolis in the small but growing town of Danville, Indiana, West Bridge Church continues to attract young families. With two Sunday services averaging nearly 500 in attendance, church leaders wanted to find ways to enhance their facility so that it could serve as a strategic ministry tool. What began as a project to add sanctuary seats for adults, quickly turned into a focus on making space for future growth and outreach to kids.
I originally thought my calling was to use my talents to build high-rise buildings. I was in the high-rise world for the better part of three decades and thought I would stay my whole life, but then I bumped into a gentleman named Lyle Schaller. A member at my home church, he was a great influence on me. Before he passed away, Lyle would come up to me after worship on Sundays, tap me and say, "What's up this week, young man? What are you doing to advance the Kingdom? Never be afraid to use your secular gifts to do the Lord's work."
When I talk with churches about how to launch an online campus, I always share my own story of how I became connected with Church Online. I married an Oklahoman, and we initially settled in his state. We moved into our first little house and lived across the street from this church with very loud music. When I was pregnant with our first child, I felt terribly sick one Sunday morning. We were part of a great local church, but in that church, I had to wear heels and a nice dress to service. I told my husband, "I cannot do that today. I just can't do it, I'm so sick." He said, "Well, I'll just walk across the street to that church where you can wear jeans."
You’ve seen the statistics. If you’re in ministry, you’ve probably witnessed the problem firsthand. The Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are leaving the church in droves...and staying away. Approximately 70 percent of those raised in the church disengage from it in their 20s. One-third of Americans under the age of 30 now claim “no religion.”
I remember the first time I heard of Aspen Group when a connection reached out to me and let me know they were growing and searching for their first HR Director. When I asked a few questions about the company, he was quick to share how great working at Aspen was—with an unwavering focus on the mission of creating space for ministry impact, living out the company’s values, and a family-friendly, collaborative environment. I was excited to apply and was honored to join the team in August 2017. When I came onboard, I saw that everything I had been told about the organization and how it treats its employees is true! Aspen’s leadership truly believes that having engaged and fulfilled staff is the most critical company health indicator and allows us to best serve our client churches.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to set expectations for leaders. Say I’m a small group leader, and I'm hearing over and over that I need to have an apprentice who I’m investing in. The expectation is that I need to reproduce my group. Say I identified Tony as my apprentice because he’s demonstrated the three characteristics I’m looking for—teachability, spiritual velocity, relational intelligence.
Anyone who considers adding a gymnasium to a church construction project or upgrading an existing gym space knows how large of a project it is to tackle. For some churches, building a gymnasium is a massive undertaking that reaps significant ministry rewards. For other churches, however, building a gym is a diversion from God’s plan and a waste of precious resources.
When we work with churches to design ministry space, high on their wish list is storage—space to stow seasonal decorations, banners, candles, music equipment, Sunday school supplies, tables, chairs, and so on. These are legitimate storage needs. But many times adding more storage isn’t the right solution. There are high, hidden costs attached to it. Before increasing the amount of square footage devoted to storage, here are five key questions churches need to consider: