This is a guest post from Nathan Artt, founder of Ministry Solutions. Nathan brings incredible insights on church financial health and the 'stories that numbers tell' that very few others talk about. Today he dives into two fundamental things your church needs in order to launch a successful multi-site campus.
Michael Jordan might be the one person who teaches you about multi-site success. We all remember the human highlight reel that was Michael Jordan — his mastery of the game helped make him one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But what most people don’t know about Michael Jordan is that the thing that made him special was seen by almost no one.
One day he was asked when he would retire, and his response was, “The day I stop improving.” His teammates always commented that he practiced harder than he played. He spent countless hours on dribbling drills, jump shots, cardio, watching films, and many other very fundamental aspects of his game. It was his focus on his fundamentals that allowed him to be great at so many other things.
What does Michael Jordan’s practice philosophy teach us about multi-site?
Recently, I interviewed Casey Ross with the Strategic Partner Group at North Point in Alpharetta. I asked him a simple question, “What is it that makes North Point so successful in the campus and satellite church model?” His response was priceless: “The things that most people focus on in the North Point model are the results. North Point is able to do what it does because of how much emphasis we put on the basics — operating margin, fiscal responsibility, asking the right questions, staff development, constant introspection, and systems.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that 'success is preparedness meeting opportunity'. However, I think if you look at the teachings of Jesus in the Parable of the Talents, preparedness can also create opportunities. When we become excellent at the fundamentals, the results overflow into everything we do.
5 keys to mastering the fundamentals of multi-site ministry
How can your church achieve multi-site success by mastering the fundamentals? Here are five keys:
- Seek the humility and courage required to ask the right questions, even when you don’t want to hear the answers. Then, have the humility and courage to act on what you find out. You will grow, your people will grow, and your church will grow.
- Invest in your staff. If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re doing a very poor job. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with strong leaders who will use your leadership to grow. Those leaders will then go on to scale and duplicate your model down the road, as they invest in the people within their circles of influence.
- Be a student of your church, understanding what makes you unique. People don’t have to go to church, and they certainly don’t have to go to your church. So why do they? Why would they? Who needs your church the most?
- Don’t allow the unknown to keep you from planning. You have no idea what’s going to happen five years from now. Prepared people know what to do when both challenges and opportunities come their way. If you don’t plan, whatever you do will be a shot in the dark at best.
- Remember non-profit is an IRS tax filing status, not a business model. Not being financially responsible will inhibit you from ever doing what you want to do and being who you want to be. Most churches don’t have income problems as much as they have spending problems. It’s a lot harder to cut expenses than it is to never have them. Plan through this lens.
Here’s my best advice: Be the absolute best 'you' that you can be before you think about duplicating yourself. The key multi-site success is to be doing incredible ministry at your single campus. When the time comes to add a new campus, you’ll find success because you’ve mastered the fundamentals.
How is your church working on mastering the fundamentals of multi-site?