Multi-Site: What’s the Difference?
If you know anything about multi-site churches, you know that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. There are almost as many ways to do multi-site as there are churches that do multi-site.
In a similar vein, there are multiple ways of executing particular ministries within a multi-site context. In the guest services world, for example, I have friends at large multi-site churches whose ministry area is much like the book of Judges: every campus does what’s right in their own eyes. There is no central ministry head, no structure for quality or accountability, and not even a real method for feedback. Now don’t get me wrong: it works for them, and I’m not necessarily saying they should change methods.
But that raises I question I get from time to time: in guest services, how are our campuses similar, and how are they different?
Two primary things factor into that answer: campus size and campus footprint. A campus with 500 people in weekly attendance requires a much different volunteer base than a campus of 3,000 in attendance. Similarly, we have campuses that meet in a relatively compact “box” that doesn’t need as many volunteers spread over as large of an area as, say, a campus which meets in a large suburban high school.
But once those two things are considered, here’s where the same / different breakdown lands:
- Philosophy of guest services
- Initial on-boarding training processes / curriculum
- Leadership pipeline
- Fixtures and hardware (most signage, tents, supplies, etc.)
- First Time Guest processes / gifts
- The essentials (offering, communion, etc.) must get done.
- The format for follow up processes
- Ongoing training processes / requirements (some campuses may choose to utilize VHQ, others will schedule separate training times)
- Campus director (may be full- or part-time, or potentially even an intern, will almost certainly run guest services and another to-be-determined ministry area)
- Org chart (smaller campuses might combine a couple of teams – i.e., outer entry and sidewalk – under one team leader)
- Job descriptions of campus director, shift lead, and team lead (different roles may perform different tasks, depending on the campus)
- Fixtures and hardware (signage and our Next Steps area will be customized according to building layout)
- How the essentials get done (offering procedures, etc.)
- The team that does guest follow up (at smaller campuses it might be one person, at larger campuses it may require several staff to be involved)
So I’m curious: what’s the vive la différence in your multi-site guest services context? Comment below.