7 Factors in Launching Campuses
These are the questions Elders/Staff ask that help us wisely launch new campuses in God's timing. We are constantly assessing our preparedness so that we will move forward—neither too quickly nor too slowly—but wisely!
Right Campus Pastor? — “They” (the multisite and campus launching experts) say this is the #1 factor in the health of a campus. We are always working on this, developing leaders from within, finding ways to call young leaders to greater ministry commitment, and discerning where God is leading us. One interesting thing to note here is that we have every one of our potential Campus Pastors and his wife go to "Campus Pastor Assessment", which is a weeklong ministry boot camp where seasoned Lead Pastors, Campus Pastors, and church planters from a broad range of backgrounds and contexts assess fitness for healthy long-term ministry.
Right Place? — This is not just about the venue itself, but also about whether the place fits with our school adoption strategy. Baked into our campus launching strategy is the idea that we “adopt” a local school and the Campus Pastor spends 20% of his time leading the campus to do outreach to, in, and around that school. Not only that, but we direct budget money there. Cool, huh?!
Enough Leaders (Coaches/Service Leaders)? — Do we have enough folks who know, from having done so at a previous campus, how to help train folks at a new campus? (Btw, "Service Leaders" isn't only about leading during a particular worship service, but also about leading people who serve.)
Enough Doers? — Every such endeavor needs folks who will just plain help get things done and who aren’t called or positioned to lead people. We have come to appreciate the truth of Scripture that it takes people with all kinds of spiritual gifts to make the body work well. These are the heroes who faithfully show up to carry out behind the scenes tasks with little to no fanfare, knowing their service contributes to make ministry happen!
Enough Money? — We do not want to launch unwisely, but as leanly as possible, accounting not just for equipment needed, but also for any additional staffing required. That's why we try to run a tight ship that spends a little less than our congregational giving. This means that, over time, we are not only financially healthy but financially ready to launch with little need to ask for huge capital campaigns.
What needs to be nailed before scaled? — Since our strategy is about scaling existing systems, are there any areas that need work now, before launching another campus? This doesn't mean they have to be perfect, or even "awesome", but that they work well enough to facilitate ongoing ministry.
Can we do all these things in a way that creates new vacuums and opportunities for growth at existing locations without destroying their ability to continue growing? — This very important question involves, well, the overall integration of everything! Being one church, in multiple locations, that is a "campus-launching strategy" that raises up leaders and develops #ForGreene people who embody the 7 Habits and are ready to launch when the time is right, is a fairly complex and tightly integrated affair! That means we launch, not when "totally ready" so we avoid risk, nor when "largely unprepared" but we "trust God to lead us" despite our foolishness, but when doing so creates more healthy opportunities for growth when it's already happening and it won't too seriously hinder growth at existing locations.
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