My friend Jim Tomberlin is a multisite guru, leveraging his experience at Willow Creek Community Church to help many churches think through their multisite strategy.

This week Jim published a useful little tool called 125 Tips for Multisite Churches.

As a clarity evangelist what strikes me most in the book is the problem of going multisite WITHOUT CLARITY FIRST.  Yes, photocopied vision still lives large in the North American church. So use your interest in, or existing execution of, multisite as an opportunity to evaluate all of the aspects of your church life from vision and culture, to focus and simplicity, to systems and structure. At Auxano we have a mantra: Clarify before you multiply; You can't export what you can't express!

Is your church ready to go multisite?  Consider these 14 observations from Jim Tomberlin's 125 "tips."  Then take some time to consider the real question that logically flows from each each observation:

#1 Multisite is not the vision of your church, but it can be a vehicle for your church's vision. (Have you inappropriately used multisite as your vision?)

#2 Every multisite is different and has a unique "church-print"—there is no one size fits all formula. (Do you know your church-print?)

#3 Going multisite will surface redundancies in your church, forcing you to simplify. (Have you simplified yet?)

#4 The most successful multisites are clear on their mission, vision, values and execution. (Are you really clear yet or are you just deluding yourself?)

#5 The easiest part is launching a new campus. The challenging part is managing the relationships between campuses and reorganizing staff to support multiple campuses.   (How is excitement to get started overshadowing preparation for effectiveness?)

#6 Going multisite requires moving from intuitive to intentional leadership and organizational change. (How are you relying on intuition?)

#7 If something about your church needs to change, fix it before you go multisite. (What changes do you need to make?)

#8 The biggest challenge of the campus pastor is to stay connected to the the vision and heart of the senior pastor. (What is that vision?)

#9 Campus pastors need to have freedom to develop the vision of their campus within previously established parameters. (Have you established those parameters?)

#10 Be intentional but don't rush—it took seven years for Sam Walton to open his second store and took Starbuck's 13 years to grow to 5 stores. (Who is holding the gun to your head?)

#11 You can stumble into two sites, but you have to plan, think and restructure to get three or more sites - Lyle Schaller. (Have you planned and thought carefully?)

#12 Great vision without great people is irrelevant - Jim Collins (Do you have great people?)

#13 Not only does multisite bring about new challenges, but it really exposes and multiplies existing weaknesses. (What weakness need to be addressed?)

#14  Multisite is more culture than program - Roy Gruber (Can you define the culture you want to reproduce?)
Topics: Date: Mar 11, 2011 Tags: church growth / church strategy / church vision / Jim Tomberlin / multisite church