Wednesday, March 10, 2010

‘A Multi-Site Church Road Trip: Exploring the New Normal’ by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird – Book Review

Buzz this

Churches with multiple locations are the latest trend in the church world.  ‘A Multi-Site Church Road Trip: Exploring the New Normal’ takes a unique look at this trend by virtually and physically visiting fifteen multi-site churches.  Road trip!

Here is the book trailer:

Here are the three authors – Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird  – discussing this book:

According to the authors, the definition of a multi-site church is:

…one church meeting in multiple locations – different rooms on the same campus, different locations in the same region, or in some instances different cities, states, or nations.  A multi-site church shares a common vision, budget, leadership, and board. (p. 10)

Although I am not in full-time ministry, I have a heart for it, and serve in several volunteer capacities at church (director on the Video Tech Team, Life Group leader in the Women’s Ministry).  My husband, Fred, and I both have a heart to help build the Kingdom of God, and we don’t know where the Lord will lead.  So I like to read books that deal with church movements, etc….  Plus I am curious about what happens behind the scenes!

Being that I am on the Video Tech team at church, I was particularly interested in Chapter 7, entitled ‘Fun With Technology.’  It is always helpful to learn how successful churches do what they do.  I was interested in reading the answers to four major technology questions every multi-site church has to tackle:

1.   How Do We Connect Our Campuses?
2.   How Do We Capture Our Content?
3.   How Do We Distribute Our Content?
4.   How Do We play Our Content at the Campuses?
(pp. 105-111)

Technology is so incredible these days; and it is amazing to see how it is advancing God’s Kingdom!

Developing new leaders in a multi-site church, which often siphons off leaders from its main location in order to start new sites, is key.  Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, TX, has realized that it has to always be looking for leaders.  They’ve developed a six-point approach to develop new leaders:
1.   Discovery
2.   Connection
3.   Training
4.   Resourcing
5.   Coaching/Mentoring
6.   Celebration
(pp. 190-191)

I do admit that, in the past, I have had skepticism about multi-site churches.  I questioned whether the movement was biblically sound, and was concerned about one pastor having too much influence.  I was relieved to see that a man as esteemed in my mind as John Piper, lead pastor since 1980 of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, has taken his church in that direction.  I consider Pastor Piper to be one of the preeminent theologians in the world today, so I highly value his opinion.  He emphasized two main points about the multi-site concept:

1.   1)  Stewardship. “Our first sanctuary, which lasted about 110 years, held 400.  The current one holds 1,000.  Is it better theology to build a bigger sanctuary, hope that an adequate amount of parking appears, and risk having an empty albatross in coming years, or to develop multiple campuses, built for around 1,000 each, maybe 5 of them, covering perhaps 10,000 people total?”

2.   2)  Evangelism. “there are hundreds of thousands of people who are within driving distance of us and who, in not treasuring Christ, are not heading for heaven….It’s not an option for us to avoid thinking about these people.”
(pp. 201-202)

In addition, Pastor Piper sees no text in the Bible that forbids or mandates multiple campuses.

I think this book is valuable for many people: 1) those who want to join the multi-church movement, or at least want to explore the option; 2) those who are involved in church planting, so they can decide where multi-site church is the right direction for them; and 3) those who are interested in learning more about the subject just out of curiosity – who knows where the lord may lead them with that knowledge?!

This book is a companion to the trio’s previous book, ‘A Multi-Site Church Revolution.’  It is part of Zondervan’s Leadership Network Innovation Series.  I have read one other book in this series: ‘The Big Idea: Focus the Message, Multiply the Impact.’

You can order the book here.

This book was provided to me by Zondervan Publishers for review purposes.


gligon said...


Thanks for the review ... looks like you are a great lover of books ... me too! Will look forward to checking back from time to time to hear about what you are reading and learning.


Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Greg -

Thanks for stopping by - and for the kind words! I am indeed a lover of books; glad to hear you are as well!

I loved your book - and look forward to reading more in the future.

And thanks for telling me you'll be back; I appreciate that!

Blessings -


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