Monday, August 8, 2011

The Beginning of the End of Multi-Site?

Praise the Lord for Mark Driscoll and the folks at Mars Hill.

Pause while you check to see whether you're at the right blog.

Praise the Lord for Mark Driscoll and the folks at Mars Hill!

In a blog post today, the folks up at Seattle have announced that there will be "No More Mars Hill 'Campuses'." Instead, citing the Bible and what it teaches about ecclesiology, Mars Hill has announced that every erstwhile "campus" will now be known as a "church."

And with that we witness the beginning of the end of the multi-site fad.

Perhaps some of you will say, "Bart, it's only a change in terminology. These "churches" are no different in nature than they were yesterday when they were called "campuses." Ah, but terminology matters, and what matters more is the fact that the folks at Mars Hill have been searching their souls over whether their multi-site ecclesiology is biblical. Having weighed it in the balances, they obviously found it wanting. Now they are making correction. I think this is the first of many steps.

The fact that they are doing so speaks ENORMOUS VOLUMES about the character of the people involved in this church and the Acts 29 denomination with which they are affiliated. I've been a critic at times in the past, but I laud them today for their decision. This is good news. May the Mars Hill decision percolate throughout the Acts 29 denomination, and may this influential church be a trendsetter in this regard.

I think that books like Franchising McChurch, the work of people like Mark Dever…

Multiple Sites: Yea or Nay? Dever, Driscoll, and MacDonald Vote from Ben Peays on Vimeo.

…and questions from people like Micah Fries (see article here) represent the direction of the future away from multi-site and in the direction of biblical church planting.

10 comments:

Bill said...

I agree. This is a very good thing.

Steve Bricker said...

I have a similar view of multiple services at one site. The practice of sharing a building is acceptable, but do not consider it one church body. In reality, there are as many churches as services.

Les Puryear said...

Multi-site was a fad that is beginning (thankfully) to die. To me, it always was about the mother church, campus, etc, maintaining control of the others.

Les

Stuart said...

Now if they would lead out in dispensing with the practice of putting adjectives in front of the word "pastor"...

fishformen said...

Thank you for the article and the links.

TedE said...

Yessir!!

volfan007 said...

Has the lower realm of darkness been iced over? Bart Barber complimenting Mark Driscoll?

Anonymous said...

I'm encouraged, but sadly I don't think this spells the end of the trend. Far from it, franchising will only continue because it capitalizes on branding and personality and gives a "church" the appearance of intimate community with the production and service quality of a mega. -Adam

PastorMax said...

I am thankful that Mars Hill has found a way to balance there growth strategy with their theology, however I think you are way off in your assessment that this signals the "end of multi-site".

Multi-site as a form of evangelism and Kingdom-growth has yet to even peak, let alone begin to decline. I have been a part of two "early adopters" of the multi-site vision and have seen it reach into areas that other churches were not impacting.

Also, neither have been about "the pastor" or the "main church controlling the campuses". Are there some out there like that, sure there are, but don't condemn the hundreds that aren't because of the actions of a few.

Multi-site is a young movement that is still finding it's way, and I am proud to stand before my God with the fruit of what He has allowed me to be a part of.

Anonymous said...

Musta been a temporary decision, for I was at "Mars Hill U District" this past Sunday, and there was no 'live' preacher there. The band was live, of course....