Friday, March 18, 2011

Why is Grace Launching a Second Campus? Part 5

I have been posting some thoughts on why Grace is launching a second campus in Harborcreek this spring.  Today's post is for you ministry strategy geeks.  It's an inside look at some of the structural grids we have used to think through how our two campuses will operate and how they will remain unified despite their differences.

1. IPOD's
This was a concept that we borrowed from a book that our team read together called A Multi Site Church Road Trip.  It is a grid that helped us to think through what programming we would offer at our Harbor Creek Campus and in what order of priority. The acronym stands for:
  • I - Initial (programs that we will offer in full at launch)
  • P - Priority (programs that we will offer within the first 12 months)
  • O - Optional (programs that we will offer as we are able)
  • D - Discouraged (programs that we never intend to offer)
Then we listed out all of our ministry areas and passed them through this grid.  So, we looked at  Worship, Tech, Staff, Guests, Groups, Kids, Students, College/Young Adults, Community/Missions, Facility, Budget, Preaching, Communications, Volunteers, Adult Education, etc. and decided what we needed at launch, what we needed within the first year, what we would offer as we were able and what we would never do.  This construct was very helpful in thinking through the scope of our programming.

2. Alignment vs. Contextualization
This is a grid that we learned from my buddy Dan Nold at Calvary Baptist Church in State College.  It's basically an acknowledgement that when you launch a new multi site campus some energy comes from alignment with the launching church and some energy comes from the freedom in contextualizing ministry for the particular community that you're in.  Some multi site approaches like LifeChurch and Newspring tend to lean toward alignment while others lean toward contextualization (almost to the point of a church plant). We want to walk this balance.  To seek alignment where it makes sense so our campuses don't have to re-invent the wheel in different areas.  But also, to seek contextualization where it makes sense - so that they can use strategies to reach the Harbor Creek area that are different than the strategies we are using to reach McKean/Millcreek.

Alignment and contextualization are two wheels on the same axel.  If you only have one you’ll be going around in circles. Some things that bring alignment are vision, mission, values, whole-church events, and words/names that are used to describe programs and ministries. Some things that bring contextualization are methodologies, community-specific events, worship service elements, etc.

3. The 5 C's of Clarity
This final construct speaks to how decisions are made between campuses. We are very clear that for the ministry staff at Grace Harbor Creek authority flows vertically through the Campus Pastor (Mike Watson), and influence flows horizontally through ministry counterparts at Grace McKean.  But how do ministry decisions get made on a day to day, week to week basis?  We've come up with the 5 C's of Clarity.
  • COLLABORATION - the first stop is just to collaborate with ministry counterparts at Grace McKean.  Most decisions will be made at this level.  Children's team leaders from Grace Harbor Creek will meet regularly with Children's team leaders at Grace McKean and most of the week to week decision making will happen at this level.
  • CONSTANTS - if there is not clarity on a particular decision from simple collaboration - teams will consult our campus constants.  Each ministry has a list of 3-5 constants which are ministry values that will carry through to all campuses. This constants contain the basic ministry philosophy for each department and should clear up most decisions.
  • CHURCHES - we are developing a list of mentoring churches - one for each ministry area - who are also doing multi site church.  If there is still cloudiness about a decision that needs to be made in, say, our guest services ministry department, they will have a mentoring church contact that they can email and ask what that church does in this particular instance.  There is no reason for us to re-invent the wheel when so many other churches are doing multi site ministry successfully.
  • CAMPUS PASTOR - there are some decisions that will need to come to the Campus Pastor to make a call on.  He will have a finger on the pulse of both the church and the community and should be able to be a final tie-breaker in any decision that is having trouble coming to resolution.
  • CENTRAL STAFF - finally some of our staff will be acting in a central role. That is - they will not have duties associated to only one specific campus but will have responsibilities to all campuses equally.  This small team will serve as a leadership team over the whole multi site movement at Grace. The Campus Pastor will be able to come to this team at any time for counsel or advice on specific ministry decisions that will affect the whole church. There will be times when this team has to weigh in on decisions because they will have church-wide implications.
Feel free to post any thoughts or questions and I'll be happy to interact with you.  And if you're a church leader who is considering going multi site let me know.  We've learned a lot through this process and have gathered tons of information and are very willing to share!

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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