In this four-part blog series, we attempt to answer the controversial question: is it possible to pursue multi-site in a biblically faithful way?
We’re asking (and answering) four questions: 1. Is multi-site evangelistically effective? 2. Is multi-site a biblically sound model? 3. Is multi-site pastorally helpful? 4. Does multi-site encourage or discourage leadership development?
Today’s issue: pastoral care.
In our first post we tried to show that a multisite strategy can be a biblically faithful attempt to balance evangelistic urgency, accountability, and community. We questioned whether single-service-only advocates have given enough consideration to the evangelistic urgency in how they set up church.
Jonathan Leeman posted 22 reasons why he thinks the multi-site model is problematic. Most of his problems had to do with a supposed lack of pastoral care, accountability, and community exacerbated by multi-site churches. We take these critiques very seriously, as we believe the church is to be a family that cares deeply for its own, and that, according to the book of Hebrews, we elders will have to give an account for every member of our church. Church is not an event to attend as much as it is a community to belong to. So if multi-site truly undermines pastoral care, I’d be willing to rethink—and even abandon—the model.
But here’s the counter-intuitive truth: the multi-site model can actually enhance pastoral care. At least that is how it has worked for us.