Being Multi

Last week was a great week for forward momentum on multi-site. I spent Thursday researching the lastest approaches to multi-site churches. Well over 1,000 churches in America are multi-site = one church meeting in multiple locations. It is inspiring to see the variety of ways that churches creatively bring their church into their context.

On Sunday evening, a group of representatives from all four San Jose area Community Groups met with me to plan the initial steps of exploring this mission approach. That late-night meeting felt like the early days of our church plant back in 2000 -- a few people sitting in a living room envisioning a new work of God.

We're planning a series of San Jose gatherings: to get everyone in that region together to dicuss how our vision could work through multiple worship sites and to begin crafting a launch. These 3 Catalyst Meetings will prayerfully seek God's leading. These same three gatherings will be repeated in Palo Alto to reboot the mission there.

A few important lessons from other churches:
  1. A church cannot just 'have multi sites.' Rather, it has to become a 'multi-site church.' Everything changes: the DNA has to become stronger, leaders have to be developed at every site, ministries and staff and decisions have to be shared.
  2. Multi-site churches are very effective at evangelism and community service. They frequently avoid the inevitable inward focus of established churches and remain in mission-mode longer.
  3. This will not be easy, but it will be fun! More people getinvolved, often wearing several hats. At first, things may seem like a mini-step backwards. The simplicity, however, gives a focus to ministry.
Many more lessons will be learned! I just created a new Multi-Site page to Grace Church's online bookstore. While you're there, consider Tim Keller's new book "The Prodigal God," to be released on October 30.



Grace Church is talking about multi-site as a means of advancing our mission in Silicon Valley. We live in such a large and diverse region, which means that many different types of church communities will be better at serving our area. Since 95% of the people in Silicon aren't at church, there's plenty of room to expand!

Multi-site is not new, but it's become an increasingly popular way of helping churches grow as they reach their communities.

Several different multi-site approaches work depending on the context and the congregation.
Within the PCA, three examples are Redeemer NYC, Harbor in San Diego and Perimeter in Atlanta, each doing the multi-site differently.

Other multi-ste approaches with video screens are run by Northpoint or Menlo or Willow Creek. 
A very creative group of churches around Chicago, called Community Christian Church have several resources online at NewThing

Over the next months I'll add more information and content. But we're all in this conversation... building a network of gospel churches and ministries is a grass-roots process.

DISCUSS: Check out a couple of church sites linked in this article. What impressions do you have?


Twuuuu Wuv

One of my favorite movies is Princess Bride and one of my favorite parts is the wedding scene  where the bishop says to the bride and groom with his odd accent: "Mawwage" and "Twuuuu Wuv". 

On the other hand, many marriages in Silicon Valley exist as mere business partnerships, negotiated settlements that seek to move the family unit forward in a chase for success. 

Real marriages, however, have an element of 'true love' without the fantasy of perfect romance and real marriages have an element of practical support without becoming simple drudgery.

How to avoid fantasy or drudgery? The key is remembering agape love, remembering that the deepest kind of love is submitting your own life for the sake of another person. That can look practical, romantic, courageous, forgiving, hopeful, sacrificial and full of laughter. Agape love is Jesus' kind of love, it's a love despite existing conditions and it's a love that seeks to redeem the beloved. It's the love that serves rather than be served.

I hope that many of us will be helped by the upcoming marriage seminar, Building a Great Marriage.