The Math Behind A Vision For Multi-Site

June 1, 2022

I’m really good at math but I don’t enjoy it. In ministry, most everything we implement boils down to simple math. For example, if you want 500 people in small groups, you’ll need 50 small group leaders. If you want to take 100 junior high kids to camp, you’ll need 10 youth leaders (and a lot of prayer). If you want to increase your attendance you’ll need more seats, parking spots, services, volunteers, etc.

The bottom line is ministry success is often built on simple math. I would even argue that the implementation and execution of vision is built on simple math. For this reason I want to introduce a math formula that I feel is critical to moving vision forward in seeing results, especially when doing multiple campuses and sites! Are you ready? Here it is…


Vision + Clarity + Focus = Performance

I love this! It gets my heart pumping, so let’s talk about it. Here are 5 principles to seeing your vision move forward as you focus growing and expanding through sites, campuses and/or venues.


#1 Clarity is more critical than vision. W. Edwards Deming once said, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” This is so true. Too often I hear people share great vision that makes absolutely no sense. Vision is the big picture, a conception of an image and it indicates where it is you want to go. Clarity is the filter for our vision, not the vision by itself. Clarity helps us to know our stuff and how vision will become reality. I get pretty fired up when I hear a Kingdom-minded leader share their vision, ideas and dreams. It’s compelling and exciting. At the same time I become frustrated when they can’t back it up with strategy and tactics. Vision always needs a strategy and plan attached to it. Nehemiah was a great visionary. I love how when King Artaxerxes asked what Nehemiah needed to accomplish his vision, he just about literally pulled a piece of paper out of his back pocket with a list of resources and a plan needed to be successful. In the same way, we must have clarity on where we’re going and what’s needed to get there!


#2 You need more than a church multi-site or launch strategy. I’ve blogged on this before because it’s important to me! Don’t mistake participation for transformation! We get so excited about events and people showing up that we sometimes mistake it for actual transformation. With multi-site, many of the models and strategies that have been embraced are really event-driven; they’re about the “big event” and the “big launch.” All of a sudden, you see Campus Pastors and their team become a bunch of event planners.

This is something we talk about all the time with Campus Pastors and Church Planters. Often guys will launch a site with some success, but they don’t know what to do next. In their DNA, there’s not a discipleship strategy or growth plan. They’ve got all these people coming, but find themselves making attendees, not disciples. It is vital that you think through everything and you think way beyond you’re your multi-site strategy and model. If you don’t do this you’ll either end up starting a worship service or launching on a strategy of hope.


#3 Your vision must be bigger than the church you lead or your impact will be limited. Looking at things through a church lens is small thinking and tends to be focused only on what a singular church can do. When you look at anything through a kingdom lens, it’s going to look differently. For multi-site churches, I think that’s huge. Our vision must be bigger than the church we’re leading and our obsession must be the Kingdom for the church to have the greatest impact. When we look through a Kingdom lens, opportunities look different, strategies have greater depth and the way we see our community looks different. Focus on the church and you’ll get the church…Focus on the Kingdom and your results will be greater.


#4 Your personal plan and ministry plan must be in sync. Last year, I decided that I needed a personal mission statement, so I called a friend who charges over $1000 an hour to help CEOs discover just that. After a fun but strenuous exercise I landed on my personal mission statement. Simply stated, “I exist to help Kingdom leaders and organizations thrive.” Just typing that makes my heart beat and creates intense emotion within me! I have walked with several high functioning leaders through the same exercise and have watched them fill up with passion as they discover their personal mission. The bottom line is simple…If what you’re doing and what you’re passionate about aren’t aligned, then your passion bucket will be empty and ministry won’t be fun and successful. We are at our best when what we are called to be and what we are called to do are in total sync!


#5 Relentless focus will help you avoid Vision and Momentum Killers! First of all, I believe momentum is usually a byproduct of great vision and great vision needs momentum to move forward. There is definitely a relationship between vision and momentum. For context I define momentum as a series of wins needed to move forward and vision as the ability to see forward (or into the future).

Recently, I spent a few hours with a few Campus Pastors. In our conversation we talked about the things that can limit (or kill) vision and momentum. I decided to come up with 10 vision and momentum killers I often see when doing multi-site.

  • The belief that vision and momentum happen in a vacuum. Great vision only gets accomplished with great relationships.
  • Settling for the status quo. Believing what is working today will work well in the future. Many times vision and momentum are killed by our past and present successes.
  • Living in “maintenance mode.” Personally I think this may be the greatest vision and momentum killer. Thinking we have arrived is the beginning of a long slow, painful death for any movement or organization.
  • Not inviting others into the journey. Vision leaks and needs to be shared recklessly.
  • Not effectively resourcing your vision. If vision is important it needs to have fuel.
  • Not listening. Simple, listen to God and listen to those most relationally connected to the vision. Sometimes we need to simply sit down, shut up and listen!
  • Lack of evaluation. Do as Nehemiah did. Take time to pause, reflect, evaluate and make mid-course corrections.
  • The refusal to join God where is already at work or where work is needed. Why try to recreate what God has already done or is in the process of doing.
  • Not bringing your “A” game. Vision and momentum require hard work and excellence. Live with a Malachi 1 mindset.
  • Changing your mind. Too many times momentum and vision die because we don’t remain committed to it or we become fearful if it doesn’t work as quickly as we hoped.
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