By Ethan Welch: So you’re thinking about laughing a new campus? There are many questions every church faces when exploring this opportunity. Topics like location, facility, staffing timelines, and finances are all important to cover and address in the process. Let’s walk through 12 steps to help your new campus launch well.
Early on, your church’s pastor, team leaders, or elders will make a decision to go multisite. You need to decide the location that you want to launch and what the launch date will be. Allow 9-12 months to launch a new campus.
2. Facility Search
One of the most important things you can do after the decision to go multisite is made is to find a facility. Do not delay on this search. Start right away. Look at community centers, schools, theaters, and other churches in your area. If you have a real estate agent at your church, it may be helpful to seek their help and advice on a facility. Utilize the people and resources around you.
3. Core team
Build relationships early on. Who is going to make up your new congregation? Start to drip the vision into the core team before the campus launch. Decide who will be at the new campus, and invite them to share in the vision and mission of the new church.
How are you going to get the word out to your church? It is important to seek the support of your current congregation when launching a new campus. Decide the best way to communicate the vision of the new campus to your church.
Start thinking through the leadership roles needed at your multisite location. Who could fill the role of campus pastor? Children’s minister? Worship leader? When you have a venue, think about who is going to lead it.
6. Interest Meeting
Set a time and location for the church to meet with the campus pastor. Share the vision, provide some refreshments, and encourage table interactions among the congregation.
7. Vision Meeting
In the vision meeting, church planting and going multisite is no longer an idea. It is a reality. At this meeting, announce the timeline, the staff, and the launch date.
8. Pre-launch Venue
This is a fully operational worship venue that allows the campus pastor to lead and allows the congregation to meet together.
9. Community Engagement and Marketing
How is the community going to know about this? Think about ways to involve the community in sharing the vision of the new campus launch. Enlist the congregation to go out to the city and hang flyers. Use social media. Host a festival or event and invite people in the community to attend.
Train your volunteers. Don’t assume that people know their roles. Take the time to explain volunteer role exceptions and how to best serve in that role.
11. Soft Launch and Open House
Soft launches are a good way to open the doors and do a walk through of the new campus. However, it can be difficult if people think it is the actual launch and not just a soft launch. Open houses are a great way to invite people to come in an exciting way. Maybe have a bounce house and cotton candy, do a walk through of the campus, and allow the people to see a glimpse of what it’s going to be like.
On launch day, there is no more time to plan or strategize. Are all of your ducks in a row? Think through all the details of your land day, and make sure you having everything you need to have a successful launch.
*This content by Ethan was adapted from our course, Moving Toward Multisite. Are you moving toward multisite? Trying to figure out how to launch your first campus, or your next one? Check out our course, Moving Toward Multisite and unlock 18 modules packed with essential training so that you can move toward multisite.