Through God's provision, Faith Church has become a multi-site church. We currently have five locations and dream of many more. Over the course of the last six years, God has taught us so much about planting churches. While we certainly have not perfected the process, we've already seen multiple blessings:
Reproduction - The Gospel of Christ is about reproducing disciples and the multi-site movement is all about that. We have observed how unleashing 100-150 disciples into a new community has resulted in multiple layers of reproduction: converts, disciples, servants, local impact, spiritual fruit and much more. As the Bible says from Genesis to Revelation, "Be thankful and multiply." This is a call for marriage as well as for the church. Those who are called to begin a multi-site are stretched in many new ways. This in turn has produced more prayer, stewardship, commitment, and energy; all for God's glory. In addition, this releasing must reproduce disciples to fulfill their Calling.
Finally, multi-site churches are often leadership producing machines. They have to be; we have to be. For our 20/20 vision of 20 sites by 2020, we will need 45 pastors, worship leaders, and children's directors. Urgency has set in. Each site will be identifiable with the Faith Church DNA and yet not identical. We are compelled to raise pastors that shepherd, preach and lead. We are compelled to raise up worship leaders and children's directors that are trained and can disciple. Reproduction wins!
Selfless Serving - As our Dyer Campus continues to release people to begin a new site, we lose wonderful elders, deacons and servants in all areas of ministry. Church planting forces us to become selfless by commissioning our servants to move on. In addition, those who leave selflessly forgo the comfortable confines of a very established, smooth-running operation to go to a gymnasium or rental facility with all the dedication required to make it work. Selfless serving wins!
Accountability - Many churches are not held accountable for their kingdom impact; whether it's conversions, serving, growing, improving, etc. The multi-site movement is all about accountability. Each site is accountable to evangelize, make budget, and measure their impact for injustice - both locally and globally. Accountability wins!
Missional World View - Going multi-site has created a mission minded culture comparable to what we see in the book of Acts and it is becoming contagious! What started with one site, progressed to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and now our people think and pray for thoughts of 20 local sites and 2 sites overseas. Churches often become myopic: They focus too much on themselves or what is right in front of them. Multi-site churches more often become hyperopic; looking out for what is ahead. Mission wins!
Community - At one time, I was the sole pastor of about 250 people here at Faith Church. There were times where I craved the camaraderie of other pastors to pray with, solve problems with, and co-labor with. Today I cherish the 8+ pastors in the office sharing all of the above together. We truly love one another. We pray for and with one another. We confront one another. We challenge one another. We were able to broaden the community to 6 churches at 6 sites, share a common love for God, His Church, and the specific ministry God has called us to. Community wins!
Future Wins - I am 51 years old. I see the finish line in the distance. Happily, I see a healthy future without me at the helm. The wise book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season for everything. I see a future where, if God took me home in the third quarter of ministry, I know what is current will carry on and what has been dreamt about will be pursued. God is our helper. Future wins!