Multi-site churches. Part 5 – How to take the next step

Church, Emmanuel Church, Equipping, Multi-site
In this concluding part of the discussion that I have been having with Steve Boon, Executive Pastor of Emmanuel Church, Brighton, Steve offers some advice for those who are considering transitioning to a multi-site church. Nigel:     This has been so helpful, Steve. If I try to summarise some of the things you have said I think they would be first that your experience with multi-site stresses the importance of flexibility. Second, there are great benefits in being located near where people live. Third, the ability to have a strong core of ministries and support services allows the site leader to focus on local issues. Fourth that each site can take on the shape and style most appropriate to the local demographic. Fifth, in your situation it provides an excellent training…
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Multi-site churches. Part 4 – An honest appraisal

Church, Emmanuel Church, Equipping, Multi-site
Steve Boon, executive pastor of Emmanuel Church in Brighton, and I continue to talk about multi-site church Nigel:     So far we have talked about some of the benefits of multi-site as being geography and reduced travel, and also the identification with the local cultural scene. What would you say are the disadvantages of going multi-site rather than building a big centralised church? Steve:    Yes, there are obviously disadvantages as well as advantages. One of the disadvantages is that with a church of our size there is always a turnover of people who leave for all kinds of reasons. Over one year it doesn’t seem to impact us much but over, say, five years you will have a number of people who may not have strong relationships or know key people…
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Multi-site churches. Part 3 – Community impact

Church, Emmanuel Church, Equipping, Multi-site
Steve Boon, Executive Pastor of Emmanuel Church, Brighton, and I have speaking about some of the characteristics and benefits of a multi-site church. Now we will consider some of the cultural issues. Nigel:     I think one of the points you made earlier is that ‘multi-site’ reduces the amount of travel and so makes church meetings more accessible to those living close to that particular venue. There is quite a variety to the social profile of the different populations across the Brighton and Hove conurbation. How is that worked out within an individual site? Steve:    That’s a really good question. The average age of our church when we did a survey a few years ago was roughly 38. I think we fairly resemble the city in terms of census and age groupings.…
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Multi-site churches. Part 2 – Different options

Church, Emmanuel Church, Equipping, Multi-site
Steve Boon, the executive pastor in Emmanuel Church, Brighton, and I are continuing to discuss the multi-site philosophy of church. Nigel:    Finance inevitably has a bearing on how you operate. How does that work in Brighton? Steve:    As well as regular giving we have a Gift Day twice a year (some may refer to it as a capital campaign). This will be for our ministries helping disadvantaged people get up-skilled through our Pathways ministry and the other for planting churches. As a church-planting church we have the privilege of training up church planters at site level before sending them on. This has applied for Amsterdam, Ottawa and Berlin where all the current leaders first led sites or meetings in Emmanuel, Brighton. So our model intentionally provides a good…
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Multi-site churches. Part 1 – Some key characteristics

Church, Emmanuel Church, Equipping, Multi-site
In recent years several churches have favoured becoming ‘multi-site’ or ‘multi-campus’ over growing a central congregation. This approach allows more flexibility to respond to the needs of a local community. Emmanuel Church in Brighton, formerly Church of Christ the King (CCK), was one of the first churches in the UK to adopt this model. Recently I had the opportunity to talk with one of the elders, Steve Boon, who played a significant part in his role as executive pastor in transitioning the church to this model. Nigel:     Steve, how long has Emmanuel been running multi-sites? Steve:    We launched our first site in the Shoreham area in Autumn 2011, and then, four months later, a third site in the east of the city at the Racecourse. Two years on from there…
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New beginnings – CCK becomes Emmanuel Church

CCK, Clarendon Church, Emmanuel Church
First, Happy New Year! Church life tends to run in seasons which may involve changes in name. My personal history is intimately linked with some of these changes in Brighton. In 1981 my family moved to Brighton to fulfil the calling God had put on our lives to draw closer to Terry Virgo and serve his vision. Those were the early days of what is now the worldwide family of churches in over 20 apostolic spheres of Newfrontiers. Brighton and Hove Christian Fellowship becomes Clarendon Church When we arrived we joined Clarendon Church, formerly the Brighton and Hove Christian Fellowship which was started in 1978, meeting in a primary school. They had moved to the Clarendon Church building in 1979 and, when we joined, the membership was at about 200.…
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