The multisite model of church has begun to mature, and one thing has become clear: Not every location has the resources for a campus. Rural communities and small towns in particular can be bypassed in favor of cities, college communities, and high-density residential areas. That’s not a bad thing, just the reality of the multisite model. We go where God is at work changing the most lives.
But as high-speed Internet spreads to more and more areas, people in rural communities and small towns have begun streaming services from larger urban and suburban churches. They’re looking for vibrant worship and gifted communicators. And they look online to find it. For many people, this stream has become their Sunday experience—whether as a single family or as a group that meets together.
This provides a huge opportunity for growing churches. In areas where a campus isn’t feasible, other expressions of church are possible. People are already streaming. People already call distant churches their “home church” and the pastor “my pastor.” That means we can step into what God’s doing there.
People are already streaming. People already call distant churches their “home church” and the pastor “my pastor.” That means we can step into what God’s doing there.
That’s the point of a microsite. A microsite is a community of connected and invested believers in an area where there is no physical campus for the sponsoring church. The community shares in the life of the church on Sundays and beyond through live-streams, discipleship materials, leadership training, and small groups. But they usually meet in homes or community centers, rather than a dedicated building, and they usually stream the service on a TV.
The key here is “connected and invested.” A true microsite has a leader (or leaders) who has been trained and released by the sponsoring church to build on the vision and mission of the church in a given community. The title of this person isn’t as important as the role they play in aligning the microsite community with what God is doing in the church as a whole.
In the days ahead, we’ll cover some of the big questions in microsite, such as how biblical microsite is, keys to success, and how to train leaders. But just keep in mind that this is more than just someone streaming a service. A microsite is about relational connection and spiritual growth. And it truly is possible to see that happen—even from hundreds of miles away.
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