Multiple Sites: Yea or Nay?



8 replies
  1. Gunnar Hanson
    Gunnar Hanson says:

    I think Mark Driscoll answered “Nay” to multi-site at about 6:50 as he has no intention of his multi-sites continuing following his death. I found that really interesting. I also did not like the way James MacDonald sounded about his influence in the city…I heard a lot of “I, I, I, I, I, I” about his influence there…in my opinion, he made the multi-site strategy sound very one man driven as Mark Dever observed. It also seems like he is saying no one can preach as good as him–and I do like his preaching. But the bottom line is I think it is an either or preference. Personally, I wouldn’t go to a video venue location…what’s the point when I could watch a sermon on T.V. or online?

  2. Miles DeBenedictis
    Miles DeBenedictis says:

    Gunnar, Great points…

    I agree with your observation on MacDonald… he is pretty “I, I, I, I” focused.

    With the amount of resources now available online, it’s hard to make a good case for multi-site as MacDonald and Driscoll do. But, they’re fellowships are still HUGE and growing bigger.

    I thought Driscoll’s observation interesting, that multi-site campuses are less personality focused than Dever’s church. I don’t know how much I believe that – I guess at this point I’ll have to take his word for it.

  3. Gunnar Hanson
    Gunnar Hanson says:

    On your last point, I sort of feel like Driscoll and MacDonald contradicted themselvest. If this was the case about about the multi-site being less personality driven, why would the plan change following his death? It would seem logical that someone be raised up and simply replace Mark…I mean if this IS the better way to do things, why would that not be their plan?

    There is no question that all of their church’s are massive and they are growing. But I don’t know if that means what their practice is right or wrong. I do think this is a preference issue. I don’t prefer the multi-site venue (although, I confess I like the sound of it as a pastor because it would make me feel more successful…if we are going to be honest here). I will conclude with the words of Paul, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ in proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18)

    • Miles DeBenedictis
      Miles DeBenedictis says:

      Most definitely… Our pride could go for it, for sure!

      I’m definitely with Dever on this one, and was stoked to see the three of them talk about the subject.

      It did answer some questions I had on how Mars Hill handles some of their sites. I didn’t know that the campus pastors taught 25% of the time. If their plan is to make them independent when Driscoll is gone, why not go to 50:50, or 75:25 the other direction.

      I guess we’re like Monday morning preachers on this one 😉

  4. Chuck Musselwhite
    Chuck Musselwhite says:

    We are considering multi-site mainly because Vandenberg Village is a bedroom community about 3 miles outside Lompoc. Now Lompoc isn’t that big (50,000) but what we have found is the people in Lompoc we lead to Christ, especially the working poor, will not drive up to the village. So we are looking for a site downtown to minister to these people.

    Our food ministry alone has lead close to 20 people to Christ this year and we are feeling compelled to continue to disciple these people. We are one of only a few Bible teaching churches and so the options are limited. Don’t know how it is going to work but it is definitely in the cards.

  5. Mike Nasci
    Mike Nasci says:

    I’m sorry but I think our responsibility as Pastor’s are to either raise up Pastor’s or make changes in our schedules to allow the travel to the other sites personally. I say raise up Pastors not projectors. I understand many disagree. We’re currently ministering in 2 communities 40 minutes apart and that is turning into a seperte weekly study which means I make the schedule available to travel. Projectors turn me off. To me it says “I’m way to good a teacher. The people must hear me” yet “I’m not willing to personally invest my time” plus I feel like we Pastors are ripping off other faithfull, Spirit filled, gifted, and called men who should go out and live out their call. Let’s disciple and cultivate not get greedy.

  6. Trip Kimball
    Trip Kimball says:

    Just to weigh in a bit… for me the real issue on the multi-site dilemma comes to— what is YOUR calling as a shepherd/preacher/teacher? If God has called you to have a huge church to shepherd & you do it well, then I suppose that it is a reasonable alternative.
    Where I have difficulty with it is when I look at 2 Tim 2:2— Are multi-sites fulfilling this exhortation of Paul’s as the Lord intended? Is that approach a matter of entrusting to faithful men/women, or actually an expression of a lack of trust?

    I am a relational, discipleship oriented shepherd (within or outside church), as Jeff J mentioned in his last post, I like the face to face approach better than digital media. But, I’m old & old-school in many ways. I DO think we need to leverage the current digital media trend for advantage of the kinddom, but I don’t think we should abandon the kingdom by embracing the world’s approach.

    As far as the “I, I, I…”— the one basic call of discipleship is found in Lk 9 & Mt 16— “If anyone would come after me (continue following me as a disciple), he must deny himself (not exalt his selfish [I] nature), take up his cross (die to his selfish nature & will, dethroning himself), and follow me (surrender his selfish [I] will to Jesus). I’m just saying… when I hear myself, exalting myself & all that I’ve done & am doing, etc… it seems I may be moving in the wrong direction & following the wrong person.

  7. Josh Olson
    Josh Olson says:

    This video made me feel a little uncomfortable, in that (and I know it is good-natured) James & Driscoll were ganging up on Dever. Felt like there was a little too much “my way is better” attitude.

    Trip, you made a great point. What is it the Lord has gifted you to do? Do it. No need to compare.

    Made me think of 2 Corinthians 10:12.
    My two cents.

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