by Rich Birch: Thanks for joining in for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. Today I have Chris Hankins with me, the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Point Church has about 17 services across 9 locations on Sundays. With a total attendance of between 1500-2000 people, that means an average of under 100 adults in each service, so it has a small feel even in a large church. They planted their locations with the idea of smaller services to multiply quickly, be more relational, and reach more people in the Triangle region, which is part of the church’s vision. Chris is here to talk about that rapid multiplication and how to keep the sites aligned as they grow.
Vision holds church locations together. // The Point Church orients everything around their vision of seeing 30 churches planted in the Triangle by 2025 so that every man, woman, and child has the chance to experience the gospel in their generation. Chris explains that they’ve had that same vision before they held their first service, and it’s that vision that still keeps them aligned and focused now. Many churches branch out into multisite because they’ve run out of room in their current locations, but The Point hadn’t yet filled up their current meeting place when they launched their second campus 18 months after starting the church. Finding the vision that drives your church will hold all of the campuses together and drive them further as they reach out to the community.
Put the church closer to where people live. // For every mile that a person lives away from their campus, they are significantly less engaged. What The Point Church has found is when they bring the church closer to one of these communities where their people are driving from, engagement goes up. Suddenly there is increased engaged in worship, in groups, and in serving. Planting a church location closer to the people who are attending creates a much tighter knit community because the same people live, shop, learn and work in this area. People are much more likely to invite their neighbors, and their kids bring friends to church with them more often because they go to school together. So The Point Church has found this approach of launching smaller locations more often to be much more effective at transforming lives.
Leadership development is key when launching so many locations. // Having so many locations, with a goal of increasing to 30 sites, takes a lot of leadership, which can be a big obstacle to many churches. In the beginning, Chris was doing everything himself, but they’ve since raised up leaders to handle the ministry with 2 Timothy 2:2 as a driving verse: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” The Point Church has a five-step leadership model that can work in any context, from Chris apprenticing someone to be a lead pastor, to apprenticing someone to be a nursery volunteer. The five step leadership model is simply: I do, you watch; I do, you help; you do, I help; you do, I watch; you do, someone else watches. The Point Church also works with leadership maxims such as: every leader has an apprentice, someone you’re training to do what you do; every leader has a huddle, with people who are doing what you are doing on the same level where you’re sharing struggles, best practice, and getting encouragement; and every leader has a coach, someone who’s investing in them. Every leader has those three things, which helps move the church forward as they continually develop new leaders.
Launch team size is the greatest predictor of the success of the church. // What is that right size of a launch team? If you have a thousand people on a launch team, then yes, that church will do amazing things in that community. But you may never get there if you’re waiting for a thousand people. The Point Church launched their first church with 125 and settled in with 250-275 people attending. They launched their second church with 50 and settled in at 100. Chris notes that they’ve found that they can consistently double the size of their original launch team, which is an incredible growth factor. But there are also growth barriers in churches. Currently it’s The Point Church’s goal to launch new locations with 100 people, which means they will likely settle in at above 200 people. As a result, they start above some of those very difficult growth barriers with regard to the size of the congregation, budget, staff team, and volunteers – this sets the church up for success moving forward.
You can learn more about The Point Church at their website www.pointchurch.com
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Helpful Tech Tools // Outsourcing HR
Ministries Following // Life.Church and Craig Groeschel
Influential Book // Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
Inspiring Leader // Craig Groeschel
What you do for fun // Poker night with friends
Contact // http://pointchurch.com/