One of the main goals of most churches is to reach more people. After all, a church can’t be effective without people.
An emerging trend is the location independent strategy, also known as multisite. It’s not right for all churches, but it could be the solution to help you reach your community and boost attendance.
It’s a unique strategy that works well for newer churches and those with a younger audience. If you’re looking for a unique way to draw in more people, consider multisite.
What Is A Location Independent Strategy?
A location independent strategy involves having numerous locations for a single church. While there might be a home location, your church might have four different locations throughout the course of a month. The object is to have services in different areas to attract more people throughout your community. It also makes it more convenient for members who want to attend, but live further away from your home location.
Some churches that don’t have the funds to build a church of their own use this strategy. They partner with businesses, malls and owners of empty properties to have their services in various locations. By only paying a small amount of rent or just ensuring everything’s cleaned up after they’re done, these churches are able to function without needing to build or maintain a physical church.
These portable ministries are just as effective when executed properly. However, you have to make sure your members are on board for this to work.
Offering Services Online
A location independent strategy doesn’t just involve various buildings. If you already have a physical location, you might not want to drag your members all over the community. Instead, offer services online as a hybrid strategy.
In this scenario, you’d live stream your services and have someone monitoring a live chat to respond to attendees if they have questions or want to participate. You can also upload sermons after they’re finished for those who can’t attend live.
Offering Services At Various Locations
It’s important to note that going with a location independent strategy isn’t going to fix your church if you’re already having problems. A change in form isn’t the solution if you’re not connecting with your members. However, offering services at various locations does work well if your church is in a large area and members have to commute longer distances to attend or you don’t have the funds for maintaining a set property.
There are two things to consider with this option. First, you have to have a way to stay in contact with members. Second, you have to be able to line up locations at least several weeks in advance so members can plan accordingly.
The first is easy to accomplish with a website and social media. The second is a little trickier. Some of the best locations for your portable church include:
- Businesses with conference areas that are only open on weekdays
- Movie theaters
- Local amphitheaters (weather can be an issue)
- Parks (weather can be a problem)
- Abandoned businesses/stores (real estate agents/banks may volunteer access)
Is It Right For Your Church?
The biggest question is whether it is right for your church or not. There isn’t a clear answer. It all depends on your church’s needs.
For a brand new church that doesn’t have a physical location yet, this is the perfect strategy. It allows you to build membership while you put together funds to build a physical church.
For an established church with older members, this could actually hurt your growth. For more traditional worshippers, this might engage them less than just focusing on better worship strategies within your church.
Another option is to do a hybrid approach and offer two services. The first at your church and the second a different location. This can work well for younger pastors who are still learning from your head pastor. This gives them a chance to hold their own services. While you might not do this every week, once or twice a month could introduce your church to a new audience and bring in new members.
Want a way to better engage your members today? Start with a church website to offer worship material 24/7.