4 Reasons Consistency Matters in Multi-Site
I’ve long said that there are as many ways of doing multi-site church as there are multi-site churches. In fact, I’ll do you one better: take 100 multi-site churches, put them in a room, and you’ll likely find 175 ways of doing multi-site church.
The reason is obvious: in ministry, there’s rarely one size fits all. We modify, we evolve, we adapt to meet different challenges, cultures, and contexts.
Having said that, I think it’s important that we maintain consistency inside our own multi-site church. By consistency, I mean a common set of standards, practices, expectations, and quality across the board. Whether you have two locations or twenty, whether you’re all permanent, all portable, or a mix of both, whether you have campus sizes of two hundred or ten thousand or somewhere in between, consistency matters.
4 reasons that consistency matters:
1. Simple and scalable are our friends…and don’t have to be common enemies.
At first blush, you wouldn’t think that these two terms go together. After all, if something can scale from 20 people to 20,000 people, it can’t be all that simple. But I disagree. The most scalable models are often the simplest. And when a model is simple and scalable, that’s a gift to your staff, your volunteers, and your congregation.
2. It lends a sense of familiarity.
Whether someone shows up to our from-the-ground-up facility or our rented public school auditorium, I want them to have a feeling of “I’ve been here.” Whether it’s signage or supplies, systems or standards, giving people a taste of the familiar lowers the barrier to entry and helps them connect that much faster.
3. It prevents misunderstandings and frustrations.
I once knew a staff member at a multi-site church who let volunteer standards slip at one campus due to some extenuating circumstances there. That allowance led to a chain reaction across three campuses that caused hurt feelings, confusion on the win, and even some key volunteers leaving their roles because they were so frustrated on the lack of consistency. (And in case you’re wondering: that staff member was me.)
4. It makes resourcing simpler.
If #1 above is true: that we can be simple and scalable, then that makes so many things across the board easier: volunteer onboarding training. Resource and supply ordering. Launch plans. Growth plans. When we keep a consistent standard and rhythm, it makes the central team’s job easier, and ultimately makes the campus team’s job easier.
By the way: one of our tried-and-true methods of keeping consistency can be found in our Guest Services EPOD. Read more here.