ECCU Blog

by Bethany Plumb

If your church is growing—and growing—you are probably headed in one of two directions: Embracing the “small church” to “big church” culture change, or starting a church plant.

Jackie Vance, CFO at Harbor Church in San Diego (with eight church plants), talked about some of the challenges church plants face in last month’s post Managing the Money and Other Realities of a Multi-Site Church. I asked Jackie about the perks of a multi-site approach, and why Harbor Church was intentional from the beginning about growing in this way. Here’s what she said:

  • Multi-sites allow for each offshoot to meet the unique needs of their community, opening up more ministry opportunities. For Harbor, this means that Sunday mornings are not the same for each site. They are contextualized for their communities, with the overall message of preaching the gospel.
  • Church plants offer a team ministry approach, allowing each plant to focus on the areas of giftedness within their teaching and staff members. And while each site has its own pastor, there is always a readily available pulpit supply. Harbor has also discovered that younger people in the church value the concept of a team ministry, so church plants are attractive to them.
  • Because Harbor has a Church Planting Center (overseeing all of the plants), there is a big emphasis on training and nurturing the pastors, staff, and even their spouses. Through the Center, they are offered training and mentoring, along with a monthly church planting meeting (open to other church planters in the community too), and retreats several times a year. Spouses have their own meetings and mentoring opportunities, specific to their unique roles.
  • Ultimately, multi-sites offer large churches a “small church feel.”

Is your church considering a church plant? What are the benefits you see?

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