Before outlining some of the lessons we are learning at King’s about our transition to being a multi-site church, it is probably helpful to place our journey in context. Following a period of growth that has lasted for over a decade, two major building projects on our Catford site and the establishment of three Sunday meetings (two in the morning and one in the evening), our morning meetings became full again. We considered starting a third meeting on a Sunday morning on the Catford site and concluded the logistics would be very challenging. Such a step would not have been ideal on many counts.
So the impetus to become a multi-site church was initially driven by a lack of space to contain the growth we were seeing - not primarily as a strategy to stimulate further growth. Ideally, as with the move to multiple meetings, multi-site initiatives should rise from the need to manage current growth rather than as a means to start growth from a static position.
It has been interesting to see that six months after launching two sites, our overall attendance is up 30%, but further, to note that 50% of our new people still come to our Catford 11.30 meeting first - confirming that particular meeting as our current major growth point. At the same time the other two sites are also showing encouraging growth signs as they are established. If King’s Church has growth momentum, then becoming a multi-site church has increased the rate of that growth. By launching two new locations 15 minutes’ drive from our existing site, we have opened up a sphere of operation to reach thousands more people.
It would also be helpful to read alongside this the Move to Multiple Meetings paper (see side panel of this blog) as many of the principles included in the move to becoming a multi-site church are similar. For example, we aimed to have 140/180 people on the ground in both our Lee and Downham sites at launch just as we had when we began our second and third meetings at Catford.
To see our three sites, take a look at the short video clip on our website