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It has been nearly 10 years since The Summit Church moved to a multi-site strategy. We’ve learned a lot during that time, and continue to evaluate how this strategy is serving God, our people, and our community. One of the objections I hear a lot to our multi-site strategy is this: “In a multi-site church, I don’t know the pastor (and the pastor doesn’t know me).” For those who make this objection, multi-site appears to be a hindrance to good member care. And because I believe the church is to be a family that cares deeply for its own, and that we elders will have to give an account for every member of our church, I feel deeply, and personally, the weight of this objection.

Here is the heart of my response: Why is the Senior Pastor the one expected to administer all the pastoral care? Doesn’t that presuppose the very “cult of personality” for which multi-site churches are often criticized? “I need to be known by my pastors” is a legitimate request. “I need to be known by that pastor because he is special” is not. Continue Reading…

One of the most frequent objections I get to our multi-site approach is this: “Why do you plant more campuses when you can plant churches instead?” Since our church is committed to church planting, I take this objection very seriously. And at first glance, the objection seems rather intuitive—people and money you could be investing in a church plant are instead being re-directed into a campus. This objection, however, is built upon two assumptions: first, that church planting solves the problem of overcrowding; second, that the multi-site approach competes with—or even precludes—church planting. But neither assumption is true. Continue Reading…

Plumblines are a series of short, pithy statements that we, at the Summit, use as rallying points for our staff. They are a way to encapsulate our theology and philosophy in short, memorable phrases.

Plumbline #13 is: “We measure our success by sending capacity as much as seating capacity.”

Jesus’ vision of the church was not a group of people gathered around one anointed leader, but multiple leaders going out in the power of the Spirit. The more I reflect on this, the more astounding it is: Jesus claimed that a multiplicity of Spirit-filled leaders would be greater than his earthly, bodily presence (John 14:12). That’s a strong claim. And before we begin to think that Jesus was being a bit hyperbolic, he goes ahead and calls our bluff—floating up to heaven and sending his Spirit instead. That’s really putting your money where your mouth is. Continue Reading…