What Is a Multi-campus Church? - Vintage Church

Mark Driscoll

In Vintage Church chapter ten we answer the question, "What Is a Multi-campus Church?" With the fast growth of multi-campus churches and the multiple ways they are organized and led, we felt there was a timely necessity to discuss and define multi-site churches. Since Mars Hill, where I preach, is a multi-campus church with video broadcast sermons, we addressed this controversial issue as well. The following excerpt on multi-campus churches is taken from Vintage Church pages 247, 254: With increasing advances in technology, we are now seeing the principles of one church meeting in multiple locations exponentially applied. The result has come to be called the "multi-site church revolution," which includes the controversial advent of "video venues." In many ways this is the circuit-riding preacher model renewed by technology. This chapter is devoted to exploring these two phenomena in both theological and practical detail.... Admittedly, by the time this book is published we will be doing things differently and likely will have added even more campuses. In sum, since our experiment with video two years ago, we have grown to a church with a peak attendance of eight thousand people spread across sixteen services on seven campuses with the capacity to double our attendance in the coming few years. Half of our attendance already participates via video, and in the coming years video will be the primary way in which people hear me preach the gospel. I now preach live four times on Sunday at our main campus. Some weeks I pre-record the sermon if I am traveling, in which case all services are video, and if I am sick or need a break I can just preach the morning services, which is a great relief. Based on the five ways of doing multi-campus church, we are doing the partnership model at one of our seven campuses, the teaching-team model roughly 20 percent of the time across all campuses, and the regional-campus model. We also have some smaller informal gatherings both in the U.S. and around the world experimenting with the low-risk model to see if there is potential to make Mars Hill a national and international church. We are by no means experts at all of this, but we have learned some things that I believe are helpful. (Seeing how friends such as pastors Ed Young Jr., Craig Groeschel, and Larry Osborne do their campuses has been very helpful.) Therefore, the following suggestions are offered as observations-not obligations-for those considering doing multi-campus church.

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