This past week has been a great chance to really think and plan what it is we are going to be doing in Neepawa with this multisite thing.
However, as we talked, discussed, questioned, thought and were led through the process, it became clear: we are doing something really different.
Based on the Leadership Network’s recent survey of multisite churches, our plan and circumstances are in the 2% of multisite churches: we are further than the ideal 25-30 minutes, we are in a completely different community, we are on the very smallest end of the scale of when churches go multisite, we’re doing it in a very rural context and we don’t have any congregants already living in the new community.
These things jumped out of paper and into reality during our coaching time in Denver. While other churches wrestled with their own unique contexts (one church is a church plant that is only 18 months old and is running multiple services and growing rapidly - another has a multi-million dollar debt from a land/building purchase, another has grown from 300 to 1200 people in 3-years), we are addressing our own unique challenges such as:
It became pretty clear that we’re not doing a “standard” multisite launch… it is looking more like a church plant with the benefits of multisite.
I need to come up with a trendy title for this… Multiplant? Plantisite? Siteplant?
Regardless what we call it, we’re going ahead with the outlined multisite strategy to align ourselves as one church in multiple locations and see exactly what it is that comes of it.
Because of the flight schedule, our time in Denver also included some much needed downtime my wife, Joanne. We managed to take in a Canucks vs Avalanche game on the Thursday night and got all touristy by going to the awesome Denver Aquarium on Friday before heading to the airport. This time together really allowed us to think and more importantly, talk about what the implications are of doing this Multiplant thing.
We’re realizing that the demands on us as a couple will be much more along the lines of the people who have planted churches than those of a campus pastor doing a more traditional multisite launch; we’re in this together and it totally affects our family and marriage in the ways that a ‘new job’ wouldn’t.
What exactly are we doing? We’re not sure, yet… but we’ll be documenting our journey for you!
Well, day 1 is in the books... and I'm wiped!
We flew into Denver this morning to join 5 other churches who are planning to (or currently) do multisite and want to learn more.
It was a FULL day of travel and then digging into some great material that Geoff Surratt has put together as we wrestled through some identifying aspects of our churches.
Much of today included drawing (makes you articulate what you're trying to say even more when you can't use words!) and thinking about what things are unique to your church, what you do well and why you do it.
I took a total of 4 point-form notes. There was little time spent teaching to us; it was very much self-discovery.
Through the day, I've come up with this list of things I've learned so far:
This is all I can put together before falling into bed, exhausted. We've got another full day tomorrow and also some free time Thursday night and Friday. I'll be able to type more about that in the days ahead.
Here are a collection of pics to test how well the mobile editor works!
I have the privilege of travelling with my wife to Denver, CO tomorrow to begin the first steps of a Multisite Journey Group that will help us figure out so many of the needed steps we have to take in launching a second campus.
Thanks to the wonder of Twitter, I happened to stumble upon a few different multisite "experts" and began to follow them in hopes of gleaning some wisdom along the way. I can't even remember how it happened, but I must have signed up for some free resources from one of the guys I ended up following, Geoff Surratt, by providing him with my email.
"Out of the blue" - or so I thought - one day, came a simple email inviting me to join a Multisite Journey Group that was designed for churches that meet the following criteria:
This seemed to fit our church really well so did our leadership team who encouraged me to apply for it.
We will be joining 5 other churches and 14 other people for 2 days in Denver as we learn together what it means to launch a new campus! I am very much looking forward to meeting these people and journeying with them.
Blog will be updated throughout this journey with some pics
Many years ago - before I was with our church - the trend of video recording your services was beginning to take off; Costs were coming down, the ability to burn DVD's and even post your video sermon online were beginning to be a reality to even the smallest of churches. PAC was one of those churches that dove in and purchased a nice (and expensive) camcorder for that time.
When we began to dream about multiple locations, and the possibility of being a resource church to other congregations began to be a reality, it became clear the the cameras we had purchased years before needed to be upgraded.
We began to talk with our denominational district office about what it might look like to provide videos to rural churches in the C&MA (our denomination) and began to upgrade our technology. This began as we upgraded from our single camera (that was pretty expensive 6 years ago) to two HD cameras so we could work with multiple angles. We wanted to go with two cameras because we believed the quality of the footage would increase by having multiple angles that could go between a wide shot, close up and torso.
The quality improvement was immediately noticeable on the web where we would post our videos.
The next step, we belived was to get our congregation used to "seeing" the sermon on the screen. We thought - probably like most pastors in rural congregations - that video preaching would probably be a tougher sell to just introduce it without a walking into it slowly.
We are required to get things done in life and we rely on certain tools to accomplish these tasks. For cooking, our tools include knives, pots, pans, heat, dishes, cutlery and so on. If you don't have the right tool for the job, the result can be super frustrating! Ever try to use a wrench as a hammer? I have. It doesn't go so well!
In ministry we also have tools that we use to get things done! In these series of posts, I am going to open up my ministry tool box and show you the tools that I use, WHY I use them and HOW I use them. Hopefully, this will be helpful for you and help you accomplish your tasks with new tools at your disposal! The first looking into my ministry toolbox will be the hardware side.
Macbook Air and iMac
I have only recently moved over to the "dark side" with my computing needs. I have had an iPhone and iPad before, so I wasn't totally new to Apple, but recently I have become a full convert. Keep reading to see how I use them!
There are some things that come pretty naturally to me - eating, loafing around, and the ability to finish off any bag of chips I come across. Other areas of life require substantially more effort to yield similar results. Renovations probably top that list. Just spent 8 hours doing something that a seasoned handyman would spend half the time doing.
I wrangled a sheet of drywall back and forth multiple times and lifting it over my head while trying my hardest not to swear in front of my kids only to find that my measurements were way off. But I would not let that defeat me. I would push through and managed to do it "first try!"
I've made some pretty big mistakes as I grew into my leadership roles. I was fresh out of college (although I did enter college at 24), with a bit of leadership experience under my belt and I found myself the leader of about 60 children's ministry volunteers! I knew that I was good at some things - better, even, than a lot of my team - but I had no idea how to lead.
I left a wake of relational damage in those first 6months - 1year; nothing irreparable, but when I look back, it's embarrassing and could have been potentially damaging to my future ministry. During that time I was eager to prove that I belonged in this position. That my salary was justified on the work that I could do. That even though I was 'young' I was a good leader.
In reality, a lot of my actions were simply because I was insecure and afraid of doing a poor job. I was scared someone might call me out for posing as a leader. My path was leading me to two possible actions:
If insecurity and fear cause you to make poor decisions, why is being afraid good for a leader?
If, as a leader, you find yourself afraid, be glad - because you are on your way to growing in your capacity, your faith and being able to overcome a problem that seems insurmountable.
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.