On a typical weekend, Christ’s Church of the Valley is one church in many locations spread out all across Phoenix, Arizona in an effort to reach the area for Jesus.
However, a couple of years ago on Easter Sunday, all of CCV’s campuses decided to come together as one church in one location to celebrate. The only location in the city that would hold all of us – Cardinals Stadium.
It was an incredible experience as over 53,000 people celebrated Easter together – the day that Jesus defeated death, burst forth from the grave and gave life to you and me!
As you’re planning this year’s Easter experiences and faithfully praying over how God is going to move in your community, rest assured that your campuses don’t need to fill an entire stadium to provide a powerful experience. Here are three quick lessons I learned about leading a multi-site church at Easter:
- Every person counts.
It doesn’t matter if you are set up and celebrating Easter in a stadium with 50,000 people, or in a rented movie theater with 50 people. From God’s perspective, every single soul counts.
- Every person has a place.
We are the body of Christ. That particular Easter, I realized more than ever that “every part has a part” to play. In order to transform the Cardinals Stadium and welcome 53,000 people to a service, it required the body of Christ working together, with everyone putting aside their egos and playing a part.
It may be the part you’re accustomed to playing, or it may be a completely new role you are asked to play. I watched so many uniquely gifted people play such critical, and often unnoticed, parts. It was a humbling and amazing experience. And it made me prouder than ever to serve in the body of Christ.
- Every campus craves a celebration.
Leading a multi-site church is complex, and it’s so easy for campuses to drift and fragment. Through that incredible Easter celebration, I learned that there is something contagious about all campuses coming together under one roof.
We were reminded of several things …
– We are big. Being spread out across many campuses can cause us to forget how big we are and how God is growing us. Coming together, we realize we are actually making an impact on this city for Jesus Christ’s sake!
– We are unified. Our campuses have unique physical spaces, places, demographics and psychographics. Yet when we gather together, we are perfectly and immediately united by Jesus Christ. We are truly one church in multiple locations.
– We are inspired. There is no way to leave a service with combined campuses and not be inspired. My suggestion for leaders of multi-site ministries, whether it’s Easter, a summer outdoor location, or Christmas — find a strategic time in the coming months to bring everyone together under one roof. I promise it will be worth every ounce of energy you expend.