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Why Build a Multisite Church?

November 11, 2011
The Chapel South Camus
This Tech Guy’s View of South Campus.

So last Sunday I found myself trying to sneak in what possibly was the last motorcycle ride of the season in northern Ohio.  The air was crisp and refreshing.  After meandering around the countryside for about 30 miles, I stumbled on the road that lead directly to the location of our proposed multisite campus in Norwalk.  With a little daylight left, I decided to swing by to contemplate, to dream a little, and to pray.

My mind went back about 10 years when I had the privilege to serve on a team that designed and constructed our existing building in Sandusky.  It was exciting, a little scary, and filled with a lot of unknowns.
One thing we realized early on was that the vision and mission of the “church” had little if anything to do with “the building”.  In fact I recall presenting several vision casting meetings after which we collected almost a million dollars in pledges – before ever developing a single architects drawing!
People support a real mission, God’s mission and this new multisite vision, I believe, is no different.
As I sat on my bike looking at the building that we propose to purchase and renovate (all within about 3 short months), I think of all the obvious stuff like: this is going to be hard!  how’s it all going to come together?  what if it doesn’t work?  what if we make mistakes?  Why are we doing this again?   Ok, I admit there are a lot of reasons why I’m excited about this.
  • It’s fresh and new.
  • I get to research new sound and video gear and take on the challenge of balancing quality with the reality of limited budgets.
  • I get to work with some amazing volunteers and staff – engineers, architects, consultants.  To be a part of something very unique in this area.
  • And if I’m honest, there’s some pride that creeps in knowing that I’m a part of something pretty amazing that not many people get to experience in a lifetime.

So if it’s not the building and it’s not the experience of being a part of a creative process then what does this all mean?  Why do any of it?  To put things in perspective for me I had to consider the following:

Nationwide 80% of the population does not have a church home or have any connection with church beyond a Christmas/Easter visit.

Erie County  – (with a population of 78,000) approx. 62,000 people are not exploring, beginning, or growing in a relationship with Christ.

Huron County – 48,000 out of 60,000 are not connected to a church home.

Ottawa County – 32,000 out of 41,000 re not connected to a church home.

This means that despite all of the churches within 30-minutes our home there are approximately 140,000 people who are not connected with a church family in any meaningful way.

I’m reminded of a verse in scripture that our team referenced often in the first building experience. (Mark 11:2-3) 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’

 So why build a multisite church?

I deeply and genuinely believe people matter to God.  And that a meaningful relationship with Jesus is essential to living a healthy, purposeful, hope-filled existence here on Earth and thru some, amazing super-natural, way promises an everlasting life beyond the grave as a result of something as simple as Grace and Faith.

If anyone asks you,

‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it…

So what’s your vision?

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