Multi-site church

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A multi-site church is a specific church congregation which holds services at multiple geographical locations, either within a specific metropolitan area or, increasingly, several such areas.

Characteristic[edit]

Within the multi-site approach, both the primary location (usually the one with the largest physical attendance) and the offsite locations will commonly have their own music worship and announcements pertaining to that congregation.[1] Commonly, though, the sermon will be broadcast via satellite from the primary location, though some churches use on-site ministers to deliver the sermon, but generally it is the same sermon presented to all congregants at all locations.[2][3]

According to Todd Rhoades of Monday Morning Insight, an October 2005 US multisite church conference released statistics regarding growth in the number of churches in the United States operating as multisite:

In 1990, there were 10 multisite churches. In 1998, that number had expanded to about 100. In late 2005, there were more than 1,500 multisite churches in the United States.[4] In mid-2008, there are an estimated 2,000 multisite churches across the US. Multisite church pioneer Jim Tomberlin of MultiSite Solutions predicts that every major city and large community in America will have many multi-campus churches by 2010. By August 2012, there are more than 5,000 multisite churches in North America.

History[edit]

The first church to become multi-site was Highland Park the Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1942.[5] In 1990, there were 10 multisite churches the United States.[6] In 2014, there were 8,000 multisite churches.[7] Some multi-site churches have also established campuses in prisons.[8] A study by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and Leadership Network published in 2020 found that 70% of American megachurches had a multi-site network.[9]

Controversies[edit]

American Professor Eddie Gibbs on Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, criticized the model of the video sermon broadcast in these churches for the lack of relationship between the pastor teacher and the faithful at each site, which would lead to messages less adapted to the reality of each campus.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird, A Multi-Site Church Roadtrip: Exploring the New Normal, Zondervan, USA, 2009, p. 109
  2. ^ Jeff Strickler, Chain churches, startribune.com, USA, February 8, 2008
  3. ^ Quentin J. Schultze, Robert Herbert Woods Jr., Understanding Evangelical Media: The Changing Face of Christian Communication, InterVarsity Press, USA, 2009, p. 164
  4. ^ "Multi-Site Conference—Session 1". mondaymorninginsights.com. Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  5. ^ Lisa B. Deaderick, BRIEF HISTORY OF MULTISITE CHURCHES, dailypress.com, USA, December 23, 2006
  6. ^ Eddie Gibbs, ChurchMorph: How Megatrends Are Reshaping Christian Communities, Baker Academic, USA, 2009, p. 169
  7. ^ Ed Stetzer, Multisite Churches are Here, and Here, and Here to Stay, christianitytoday.com, USA, February 20, 2014
  8. ^ Daniel Silliman, The Latest Multisite Campus: Prison, christianitytoday.com, USA, October 22, 2019
  9. ^ Maria Baer, US Megachurches Are Getting Bigger and Thinking Smaller, christianitytoday.com, USA, November 19, 2020
  10. ^ Bob Smietana, Rebecca Barnes, High-Tech Circuit Riders, christianitytoday.com, USA, August 31, 2005