CNLP 043: What’s Next in Multisite—How New Locations, Mergers and Aquistions Could Impact Most Churches

Should your growing church go multisite?

Should your declining church consider merger?

Leading multisite expert Jim Tomberlin talks about how the multisite movement is changing and how more and more churches are pursuing mergers and acquisitions.

Welcome to Episode 43 of the Podcast.


Jim Tomberlin

Guest Links: Jim Tomberlin

MultiSite Solutions

Multisite Solutions Blog


Jim on Twitter:  @MultiSiteGuy and @MergerGuru

125 Tips for MultiSite Churches

Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)

Church Locality: New Rules for Church Buildings in a Multisite, Church Planting, and Giga-Church World

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Thom Rainer; Episode 36

The Orange Tour 2015

Reggie Joiner

Willow Creek  

Greg Surratt

Craig Groeschel

Rich Birch; Episode 8

Perry Noble; Episode 2

Todd Wilson at Exponential

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

You don’t have to be a meg achurch to develop a multi-site ministry. But if you have the right mindset, the right plan and the right leadership, you can successfully multiply your mission across new campuses.   Jim Tomberlin provides insight to leaders who want  to expand.

  1. Realize you don’t have to be mega to be multi. Mega churches once used multi-site campuses as a Band-Aid strategy for growth. They either became too big for their space, or they were restricted by zoning laws to expand. Currently, there are more than 5,000 multi-site churches, and it’s out-pacing the mega church movement as a revitalization strategy for healthy churches whose growth has become stagnant.
  2. Evaluate the health of your church. Healthy churches generally grow at a rate of 5% a year, but there are a few questions you can ask your leadership team to find out if your church would be a good multi-site contender.

Does your church have clarity about their mission and vision?

Is your church leadership unified, and do they support the church’s mission and vision?

Does your church have good systems and processes in place to help people through their spiritual journey?

Are you using your current space well?

Healthy churches can go multi-site to re-leverage their strengths in other communities. But keep in mind that if you’re not healthy, build a strategy to become healthy first. Going multi-site is a growth vehicle, not a growth engine.

3. Have the mindset of an Apostolic Leader The apostle Paul said, “I bear daily the burden of my churches.”(Notice that “churches” is plural.) A senior leader with an apolistic mindset is more than someone who’s just a great leader; they want to grow and reproduce. They have a desire to create a movement of churches and their congregations. They’re birthing campuses that birth campuses, and they’re involved with churches that plant churches. They’re not satisfied with 1 or 2 campuses because they want to create a movement with the church. Apolistic leaders bake in reproduction at every level across their church because they know living things are meant to reproduce!

Quotes from Jim

Multisite Facts and Trends Infographic

The following infographic has some fascinating statistics on multisite and is provided by Jim via Rich Birch of

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Next Episode: Jeanne Stevens

The life of a church planter has so many ups and downs. Jeanne Stevens and her husband Jarrett learned that the hard way, when after over a decade on the staff of some well-known mega-churches, they found the courage to leave the comfort of what they knew to plant a church in downtown Chicago. Jeanne tells the story.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 44.

In the meantime, got a question?

Scroll down and leave a comment!


  1. Parker Green on July 13, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I was looking for an older podcast on a similar topic. You had mentioned a church that was multisite, but had large and small campuses, some even in homes where the teaching was broadcasted. Looking at their model as I’m a campus pastor in a multisite church in NYC. The home leader was considered a pastor of that campus. Do you have the name/website of that church?

  2. David on July 9, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    What about newer smaller parish models that are starting smaller
    Sites without waiting for the larger numbers? Any insight into that?

  3. Chuck Land on July 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Carey, Jim mentioned a church that started with the idea of being multisite. Something like One Life Church or something. I didn’t see a link in the show notes do you have one or at least the exact name?

  4. Brent Dumler on July 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

    This podcast completely echoes the voice and heart of my Lead Pastor. I had the honor of launching our first satellite campus in Sept of 2014. We experienced some encouraging growth in the first 6 months, and now have leveled off recently. So we’re really trying to take a deep look at what our next season needs to be for our community. Discussions like this are so helpful. Jim and Carey, great job in this episode and in all that you do to encourage other churches. God Bless.

  5. Chris Vacher on July 7, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Really good stuff. You don’t have to be mega to be multi. Great encouragement for every church. Thank you!

    Surprised at the stat of 1/2 of 1% of churches in the US are 2,000 attendees and up. I would have thought it would be a higher number.

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