Book Review–Multichurch: Exploring the Future of Multisite

Roughly fifteen years into the modern evangelical marvel of multisite, a new book has come along. The first swath of books on multisite focused on some of the foundational elements of multisite. Those writings helped bring about the commonly-held definition of “one church meeting in multiple locations” (The Multi-Site Church Revolution, 18) and offer some loose theology for the multisite movement as well as pragmatic principles for how to “do” multisite. Of course, anyone who operates within the multisite world knows full well that the standard operating procedures always change.

Now, Brad House and Gregg Allison have recently published MultiChurch: Exploring the Future of Multisite as part of the change in the multisite landscape. House and Allison are both elders at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Allison also serves as professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. (It should be noted that House previously served at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, so he got to see some of the growth of multisite—positively and negatively—from the inside.)

MultiChurch is like the more mature older brother of the other works. Where previous works on multisite offered joyful enthusiasm for the potential of the multisite movement, MultiChurch offers a measured approach to multisite ministry—offering both theological and practical examples of how that works out over time (the good and the bad).
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The New Faith Family and the Will of God

“How do I do what this says?” lingers in every man, woman, and child who wants to honor God—every person who reads Mark 3:35 and really desires to be the person who does the will of God. Jesus, in normal fashion, is told his family is looking for him and then challenges the concept of who his true family is.

32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:32-35).


Joseph Hellerman, pastor and professor, summarizes this passage well.

Jesus radically challenged His disciples to disavow primary loyalty to their natural families in order to join a new surrogate family of siblings He was establishing—the family of God. Relationships among God’s children were to take priority over blood family ties (Hellerman, When the Church Was a Family64).

Two questions come to me from this passage. First: What is the new relationship Jesus establishes? Second: How do we do the will of God? We’ll look at both, with specific attention to the second.

Continue reading “The New Faith Family and the Will of God”

A Vision for New Churches

Today we finished our Roots series. While only four weeks, the series sets a trajectory toward our future. We started with a night last month where we communicated a revised mission and vision, and set some goals for the next five years. One of those goals—and perhaps one of the more difficult ones to live out— was to have at least one new church established within the next five years.

Church on Hill

I’ve referenced Tim Keller’s “Why Plant Churches?” article so many times, I figure I’d send it along one more time. If you haven’t read it, and you’re a part of our church family, then I would suggest you read it. However, today I wanted to give three more statements to you.  Continue reading “A Vision for New Churches”

Ten Reasons to Join Us for Vision 2020

Thursday night, our Campus Location will host an event (6-8pm) for the whole church—we are calling it Vision 2020.

“What’s the vision?” Folks ask me this from time to time, and this night (I pray) goes a long way in helping answer that question. I hope you can make it.

Because I am sure many are on the fence and others are looking for an excuse not to attend, I want to give you a few reasons I think you should be there. Ten, actually (I tried to go for 20, but it was too difficult) . . . Continue reading “Ten Reasons to Join Us for Vision 2020”

The Local Church is a Gift

I have written before on how I think that saying you are a part of the global church while opting out of a local church is a ridiculous thought. That concept, I believe, exists in part because of how quickly technology has connected us globally, and also in part because of the fact that we don’t love the things Jesus loves. The local church will exist always and forever. It will outlast your marriage, your family, and your legacy—you will worship eternally with the global church made local.

Derek Webb’s song “The Church” cuts to the heart of this morning’s sermon. I’d encourage you to listen to it. The song starts at the 3:30 mark; until then, you get Derek’s thought on worship styles and churches that divide over them (please note his thoughts are not my endorsement one way or another). If you know a bit of Derek’s story, you know now there’s a tragic irony to his statements.

What makes the local church unique? We discussed five ideas this morning from 1 Peter 4:7-11 . . . Continue reading “The Local Church is a Gift”

When People Leave a Church (I Hurt Too)

I’ve left churches for good and bad reasons. The best reason I’ve left? Moving to a new town. The worst reason I’ve left? Because I was bothered with something and opted not to fully reconcile it. The church was big gigantic so I figured they wouldn’t need me anyways. And I didn’t make much so I couldn’t give much. Now, pastoring a local church, I’m on the other side of people leaving.

When churches have change—and The Chapel has had quite a few over the past five years—people go. Not lots of people (usually), but some. It could be because of their allegiance to the person who left, because of their disagreement with the decision, because (in the case of a church relocating) they have other churches nearby, because the new person brings too much of a different culture, or a mix of all of those. I’ve seen them all in one way or another.

While I’m often a little zealous in my youthfulness, and could come across as the guy who says “Good riddance!”, I do want to say this: I hurt too. . . Continue reading “When People Leave a Church (I Hurt Too)”