The genius of a multi-campus church

Posted on January 12, 2009

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Last week our staff (full-time, part-time, volunteer) had the opportunity to gather from the four corners of Louisville and get away for a short retreat in Gatlinburg, TN.  We had an incredible week of vision-casting, brotherhood-building, and just plain fun, which after reflection caused me to think, “I can’t imagine serving on a single-campus staff!”  In today’s corporate cut-throat culture, it seems improbable that a group of men could have that kind of chemistry.  How does a multi-campus staff pull something like this off?  There are several keys that converge to make this enterprise work:

1. Humility – from our senior pastor to a volunteer intern, there really is a tremendous amount of humility involved with a multi-site church.  In a team environment with a matrixed org chart, there is a kind of built-in humility mechanism that sacrifices self-promotion for the greater team.  Nobody is a greater example of this than our pastor, who slept on the couch, picked up trash after everyone went to bed, and allowed everyone to have input on the church’s vision.

2. Diversity – implementing campuses across the city of Louisville gives our church staff a breadth of leadership development opportunities.  Each campus has its own distinct personality and mix of leadership competencies, which tend to flow from the staff and local community.  This adds flavor and seasons our staff, which can get very bland in a middle-class suburban church.

3. Unified Vision – every staff member at every campus understands and lives out the multi-campus DNA, while simultaneously understanding that we are on a mission to impact the city of Louisville and Southern Indiana with the gospel of Jesus.  It’s much easier to work through personality conflicts, resource allocations, philosophical differences, and the like when everyone puts their wants and needs in this greater context.  Everyone understands that the mission greatly multiplies the kingdom impact that any one campus could have on our their community.

4. Love for Jesus – it was VERY encouraging each morning to wake up and see each member on our staff having their quiet time.  There is not a person on our staff, as far as I can tell, that doesn’t passionately love King Jesus and His church.

Those are some things that make it work for us.  What about your staff?

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