This Sunday our church is soft launching two new campuses in cities surrounding the original location. Nicole and I are not new to the multi-location model, but so far we like the approach our church is taking. We’re part of the seed team for the campus closest to our home: Nicole is on the Welcome team, I’m directing the Tech team. The soft launch will start with just the seed teams. Both campuses ended up finding schools to meet in.
We used Church In a Box, who surveyed our locations then acquired the equipment and a trailer, and built storage so that everything rolls easily into, and out of, the trailer and can (in theory) be set-up in about 15 minutes. This Saturday the equipment arrives and we get our first training on it — they said to expect it to take 4 hours the first time we do it!
Sunday we have our first service, but it’ll just be our team. We’ll set-up the equipment, run live worship, roll last week’s recorded video, and the campus pastor will speak briefly. Over the next 4 weeks we’ll squash the bugs, get more efficient at set-up, and begin to welcome the community. The hard launch is at the end of March.
Our home church is big, established and healthy… but tucked at the back end of town: even if we had room for lots more people, its tough to draw them out from the 401 corridor that defines Southwestern Ontario into our neck of the woods. By putting campuses in areas with lots of people, but not lots of churches, we hope to be able to reach more and build a larger community. One campuses is in a affluent, growing area, the other is in an area generally populated by immigrants living at or near the poverty line. One area has material wealth, but cultural stagnation. The other has rich, global culture, without the materialism that infects North Americans so easily. The church needs to reach, partner with and serve both sets of people.
Its hard leaving our home church — even though we’re still a part of that community, its in an extended way now. But its exciting to be a part of a new work that God is doing.
And I’m doing by best to cling to that enthusiasm, and soak up the anticipation of those involved with us, so that I don’t draw unfair parallels between this operation and the last like it we were involved with that… failed to reach its promise.