multi-site churches debated

Posted on May 1, 2009


The latest issue of the 9marks journal has just been released, and as one who is not a normal reader the subject matter caught my attention – multi-site churches.  As a long-time member and current staff member at a multi-site megachurch, I have had the privilege of possessing a front row seat as our church “went multi-site” before it became trendy (in the late 1990s).  In my opinion, the multi-campus model is a biblically viable and practically effective method for reaching large numbers of lost people in local communities in the U.S.  Although we are certainly not without our own issues & problems, I have witnessed firsthand how this model revitalized our church, ignited a passion for cross-cultural missions, ramped up intentional leadership development, and forced our people into a more robust ecclesiology that is more than simply caring about “our stuff/style/people/etc.”

Here is a list of the articles presented in the 9marks ejournal. I would especially recommend J.D. Greear’s article.  Enjoy!


Theological Defense of Multi-Site
A seminary professor examines the multi-site phenomenon and offers a biblical, theological, historical, and missional argument for the multi-site church.
By Gregg R. Allison

A Pastor Defends His Multi-Site Church
A multi-site pastor provides a biblical, practical, and pastoral defense of his multi-site church.
By J.D. Greear


What Is this Thing, Anyway? A Multi-Site Taxonomy
Can multi-site churches be congregational? What kind of polity does a multi-site church have?
By Greg Gilbert

Have We Ever Seen This Before? Multi-Site Precedents
Another seminary professor looks for multi-site churches before 1980. Here’s what he finds.
By John S. Hammett

Richard Baxter and the Multi-Site Movement
What’s Richard Baxter’s problem with the multi-site church? One word: shepherding.
By Jeffery Riddle

Clouds on the Horizon
A multi-site pastor weighs in on the current state of the multi-site conversation and raises concerns about the future of multi-site churches.
By Matt Chandler


Nine Reasons I Don’t Like Multi-site Churches, from a Guy Who Should
A young, tech-savvy seminary professor explains why he’s not getting on board the multi-site revolution.
By Thomas White

Exegetical Critique of Multi-Site: Disassembling the Church?
A pastor-scholar weighs the exegetical arguments in favor of the multi-site church and finds them wanting.
By Grant Gaines

Theological Critique of Multi-Site: Leadership Is the Church
The local church on earth is constituted by a gathering of Christians, which means the multi-site and multi-service “church” is not a church, but an association of churches.
By Jonathan Leeman

Historical Critique of Multi-Site: Not Over My Dead Body
Regardless of the fact that multi-site churches haven’t existed for most of the past four hundred years, historic Congregationalists and Baptists have a lot to say against them.
By Bobby Jamieson

The Alternative to Multi-Site: Why Don’t We Plant?
The multi-site church phenomenon looks like a capitulation to consumeristic culture. We should plant instead.
By Jonathan Leeman

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