Saturday, March 05, 2011

Why is Grace Launching a Second Campus? Part 2

I will be posting some thoughts throughout the next week on why Grace is launching a second campus in Harborcreek this spring.  Today I answer the question, "Why would we launch a new campus instead of, say, starting an additional worship service or even planting a church?"  


1. A multi-site approach to starting new campuses leverages our strength. 
We can build on the strengths of an existing healthy church at Grace McKean.  So we will utilize central leadership (Elders), centralized budgeting, centralized preaching and teaching, centralized communications (website, printing, etc.), centralized systems and processes, centralized administrative support (phone, supplies, publications, etc.) while at the same time allowing for freedom in innovation to specifically reach the Harborcreek community. For the new campus, some energy comes from alignment and some energy comes from contextualization.  So where it makes sense, we'll align and where it makes sense we'll contextualize to specifically reach Harborcreek.  Multi-site campuses have a much more healthy success rate (nearly 90% survivability) than church plants. 

2. Starting new campuses is the most effective way to reach new people 
There is a direct link between the age of the church and the effectiveness of reaching out to un-churched people.  

  • 3:1 - In churches 3 years and younger it takes three people to reach one un-churched person on average.  
  • 7:1 - In churches between 3-10 years old it takes seven people to reach one.
  • 89:1 - In churches ten years or older it takes 89 people to reach one un-churched person.  

On average for established churches (older than 10 years) it takes $100,000, 100 people, and 1 year to reach 1 person for Jesus. They gain the vast majority of new members by transfer growth from other congregations.  By contrast, the average new campus (younger than 3 years) gains most of its new members (60-80%) from the ranks of people who are not attending any other church.  

3. Launching a new campus forces us to develop new leaders
One of the traps a church can fall into - even a growing and thriving church - is to keep asking the same people to do all the work.  The same names keep emerging on every list to lead ministries.  Starting Grace Harborcreek is forcing us to develop leaders.  New leaders will run ministries in Harborcreek and new leaders will need to replace the nearly 100 people who will be leaving Grace McKean in April.  We're throwing ourselves into this new initiative and new leaders must step up and we must equip them for ministry.  Every church labors to develop and disciple new leaders, but new congregations do it faster.  They have to. 

On Easter Sunday 2011, Grace Church will launch a second campus in Harborcreek, PA.  We will meet at the Harborcreek High School at 11:00 AM each Sunday.

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