Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bay Area Fellowship and Multi-Site

One of the "challenges" or "complaints" that is often heard from around the country when it comes to multi-site ministry goes something like this.

"You big mega-churches are just moving in to steal all the people out of the churches in this area and are going to put them out of business."

First and foremost, let me tell you that from our perspective at Bay Area Fellowship and from many other churches who also have campuses around the country this statement is so far from the truth that it is absurd.

Pastor Bil Cornelius wrote about this in a post called "No More Competition". Here's a little excerpt:
addressing a concern that someone has that Bay Area is going into new areas with video-venues and are going to “steal people from other churches.” The truth is, and I mean this in a good way….we don’t want them! Long term Christians who either grew up in church or have been a faithful part of another ministry typically give us problems, because they keep comparing where they came from with where they are now. They almost always complain about our worship style, insist our small groups function like the “Sunday school” they used to attend, and wonder when the pastor will get “deeper” for them. As they are complaining, someone (either a member or a pastor) will challenge them to serve, lead a group, and tithe (which they almost always do not do!) and then they leave in a huff, angry that we did not “meet their needs.”
Pastor John Atkinson who leads our churches multi-site strategy wrote a great post called "Taking New Ground". This explains a lot of the reason of our "why".

Tough thing is...we can't control how other churches handle it or how they criticize what we are doing. We can only manage our motives. I can tell you the motive for our campus is to reach out to the un-churched population that is already out here.

There are more than 50,000 people within about 15 miles of our church. In that number includes around 16,000 teens and children. There is no way that our church can do it by ourselves anyway. We are not coming out here to shut down any churches. That would be counterproductive anyway. Our purpose is to simply make a difference in this area.

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