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Multi-site churches increase

Multi-site churches increase

Ekklesia reports a new church growth phenomenon:

The number of US congregations that host worship services at more than one physical location has grown to more than 5,000 in the last decade, according to a new report – writes a correspondent for ENI/RNS.

Researchers say these “multisite” churches, which may share worshippers across town or many miles apart, are growing at a much larger pace than traditional mega-churches.

Without the burden of additional expensive buildings, congregations find they grow faster in new places, said Warren Bird, research director of Leadership Network, who announced his conclusions last week.

“It’s a combination of both evangelism and saying, `People may not come to this particular building. How can we take where we are to where they are?’” he told Religion News Service.

Bird, the author of books on the multisite trend, has tracked the number of churches meeting in more than one place for his Dallas-based church think tank; he combined his findings with Faith Communities Today surveys.

Multisite churches have grown from fewer than 200 in 2001 to 1,500 in 2006 to an estimated 3,000 in 2009 to more than 5,000 today. In comparison, US megachurches have grown from about 50 in 1970 to about 1,650 in 2012 in North America.


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John B. Chilton

I understand the comments above pointing out that TEC is a multi-site church.

But these are successful multi-site churches.

Let’s ask this question: Are we a successful multi-site church? Each of our parishes acts largely independent of the other. This leads to competition that can be healthy. But it can get in the way of cooperation when we become (as is too often the case) congregation centered. We don’t use best practices in sharing resources. We do have congregations that hang on to the bitter end, rather than closing and redeploying the remaining resources to making their neighboring parishes in the diocese stronger.

Chris H.

Sounds like something TEC needs here with only 20 priests for 40 parishes(many of which are 60-100 miles apart). Hook up the big screen,wifi to wherever the bishop or another priest is that week and have a deacon hand out the host. It would save the priests that serve 3-5 parishes or parishes that borrow from ELCA a lot of drive time.

Chris H.

Christ H. Please sign your full name next time you comment. Thanks ~ed.

Bill Dilworth

Well, I wonder – parishes in a diocese have a certain amount of self-governance. Do these? Or is it more like a retail chain run from HQ?


Yes, “multi-site churches”: also known as a diocese. What an amazing innovation! ;-p

JC Fisher

Clint Davis

Well well, looks like they finally figured out why we have…bishops, cathedrals and parish churches!! Wow, what a concept!!!

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