My Prepared Notes for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

One of the most popular leadership podcasts anywhere is the weekly Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. So when Carey extended the invitation to interview me about Hero Maker: 5 Essential Practices for Leaders to Multiply Leaders, my forthcoming book and the big idea for Exponential 2018 Conference, I was quick to say, “Yes sir!”

When Carey interviews someone he captures the audio while you are interviewed on a video platform; that way you can see each other creating a more dynamic conversation. So, the first thing I noticed when I logged on was that Carey’s shirt perfectly matched his pillows and I quickly mentioned it to him in good fun. Carey countered by taking this pic of himself and accessories and then posting it on his twitter account! I could tell this was going to be a fun interview!

Once the interview started we immediately hit it off and went on for about 90 minutes, much longer than the 45 minutes we planned. We talked about planting churches, movement-making, the “5 levels of churches”, the rapid global expansion of the NewThing network, the rapid growth of the Exponential Conference and the five practices of a Hero Maker. I ended up telling a story I’ve never told before and even gave him a peak into my journal (which I think he took a pic he is going to post when the podcast releases). I thoroughly enjoyed Carey and the interview!

Before the interview Carey sent me about a dozen possible questions that he planned to asked me but also warned me that he will take the conversation wherever it goes. So that I could be ready for both I spent a little more than an hour typing up a few thoughts to all the questions Carey sent me. While the interview will be released on December 5th; attached are the planned questions and my prepared notes for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast in case you want to check it out.

Multi-Site Church Road Trip Makes Next Stop Here!

Multi-Site Church Road TripIf you have any interest in the multi-site church you need to read the Multi-Site Church Road Trip!  If you are thinking about going multi-site or considering adding more sites or want to know what the future of the multi-site church – this book is a must read.  I consider all three authors:  Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon and Warren Bird friends; but that is not why I’m saying to read this book.  I’m encouraging you to read it because this book contains the latest and best information available on the multi-site church movement.

Since I know the three guys who wrote this book and I lead a church with nine (soon to be eleven) sites I was happy  to answer a few questions they had for me about the multi-site church movement.  So here are their questions and my answers:

Q:  In the book we describe the leadership structure at Community Christian. How important is structure to the success of a church using a multi-site strategy?

A:  Our experience at Community and through our NewThing churches is that there are structural shifts when going to two sites; when going to a fourth site and when going to a tenth site.  Because of this we are finding that a lot of churches are going to two sites; not very many churches with three sites and there are a whole lot that are going to four sites and more.  Why?  I think it has to do with structure.  Some churches that go to two sites do not think about structure and find it overwhelming and complicated and stop reproducing sites.  While there are other churches that think through the structural changes that need to be made and continue to reproduce to three sites, four sites and beyond.

Q:  Community Christian does a great job of both planting churches and launching campuses. How do you distinguish between a church planter and a campus pastor?

A:  We really believe the same qualities need to be in place for a campus pastor or church planter.  We want them to be entrepreneurial, have a leadership gift and comfortable relating to all people (churched and un-churched) in their context.  All our NewThing churches are looking to train one leadership resident per site to apprentice and become a campus pastor or church planter.

Q:  You and Jon seem to do an amazing job of leading together. What advice would you give to church leaders who are considering employing family members in their ministry?

A:  They key to family working together is much like any staff working together: good character, great chemistry and genuine competency.  However, (and I’m sure Geoff Surratt will agree with me) it takes a very special and humble leader to allow their brother to be the lead pastor.  Jon (like Geoff at Seacoast) could easily be the lead pastor at this Community or any other church; but instead he uses his extraordinary leadership gifts without getting all the kudos that come with being the lead pastor.  I have more respect for Jon, than any other church leader I know.

Q:  You have been a leader from the very beginning of the multi-site revolution in America. What do you see next on the horizon for multi-site in American churches?

A:  I love this question!  In fact, Jon and I just finished our next book, Exponential:  How You and Your Friends can Start a Missional Church Movement and we talk about this.  So here is what I see on the horizon:

  1. More new sites will be launched by sites other than the original site.  In other words we will see new sites reproducing new sites.
  2. Sites will be launched not based on the competency of the mother church, but on the strengths and needs of the community where the new site is started.
  3. There will be less of the “We use video” vs. “We develop teachers” battle and more multi-site churches will use both video and in-person teaching.
  4. A lot more campus pastors will be female and there will be evidence that they are more effective than men in this role which will bring some controversy.
  5. Multi-site churches will think in terms of launching a region with multiple sites and not one new site at a time.
  6. Online churches ill not just have one site, but they will also have multiple sites!
  7. The churches that are effective in reproducing new sites will be the churches that are most effective in reproducing missional communities.

How’s that?

Q:  In your book The Big Idea you describe how every ministry at Community is on the same page. How does the Big Idea work in a multi-site environment?

A:  It was going to multiple sites that caused us to be intentional about implementing the Big Idea.  It was our conclusion that having every campus on the same Big Idea would bring alignment to our vision and mission.   Practically speaking here is how it works: we plan our Big Idea series a year in advance.  Thirteen weeks in advance of the celebration service the teaching team develops and writes a Big Idea “graph” which is a one page summary that gives clear direction and scriptural content.  Ten weeks in advance the teaching team plans the whole message in that series and gives writing assignments.  The following week, nine weeks in advance our creative arts team plans the creative elements such as video, sketches, music, interactive moments, etc… to better accomplish the Big Idea.  This same process is done for all our large group and small groups fro adults, students and kids.  It is awesome!

The Multisite Phenomenom: Here to Stay?

Multiple sites 2 A while back the Christian Standard contacted Jon and myself to get our latest thinking on multisite.  Here are a few articles that they posted that I thought you might want to check out. The first one, The Multsite Phenomenon:  Here to Stay? talks quite a bit about Community Christian Church and Seacoast Church while struggling with the question of whether multisite is a fad and will go away.  The second article, The Multisite Movement:  Success Stories tells stories of churches that you may not have hear about before that are seeing great success with multiple sites. And the last article is an Interview with Todd Wilson about Multisite.  Todd is one of the brightest minds I know and has some fascinating thoughts on the topic of multiple site churches.  Enjoy!

NewThing Multi-Site Practicum August 17 & 18

If your church is thinking about going to multiple sites then this is an event that you can’t miss!  On August 17th & 18th NewThing is offering a Multi-Site Practicum that will you and your church the practical tools to be ready to sart that new site.  We have literally trained hundreds of churches in this transition from being single site to multiple site and we would love the opportunity to help you.  For more infomation and to register, click HERE.

Inteverview on Catalyst Voices

Catalyst Voices – Dave Ferguson from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Got a chance to hangout last night with L.V. Hanson, Ambassador for the Catalyst Conference and head honcho of the Catalyst Road Trip.  Since he was new to Chicago I had to treat him to some Lou Malnati’s pizza.  He’s a great guy and we had a great time.  In the video we talked a lot about church planting and where Community is headed as a missional church.  If you want to read his post about our conversation it is on the Catalystspace blog titled First Full Day in Chicago and it includes some stuff on multi-site that is not in the video.

2 New Community Christian Sites Coming to Aurora!

2 new CCC sites If you have been on the Community Christian Church website lately you may have noticed that when you click on the “locations” tab there are no longer 9 locations but 11!  We are excited to announce that we are currently forming launch teams for both East Aurora and Aurora (North) Both of these launch teams have already attracted a large numbers of people and look to be big impact sites.

If you are interested in learning more about  the East Aurora site, click HERE.  If you want more info about the Aurora (North) site click HERE.

CCC’s Carillon Campus a Model for Reaching 55+ Crowd

CCC Carillon The Christian Standard just came out with an article, How Churches Are Reaching Out to Older Adults.  The article featured CCC’s Carillon Campus which is located in a retirement golf community for adults who are 55 and over.  One excerpt from the article:  “Church members in Carillon can recount numerous stories of people who found their way back to God through small group ministry. One of these men, Bob, had owned his own business and traveled all over the country before retiring and moving into Carillon.  Campus Pastor Earl Ferguson said, “We invited him initially to a small group and we could practically see his eyes begin to open to the message of the gospel. Bob was baptized when he was 80 years old and told his friends and family, ‘All my life I’ve known something was missing and now I know what it is.’”  Love it!

Thinking Multi-Site? Think Multi-Site Practicum!


If you are thinking of becoming a multi-site church, this is an event you can not afford to miss! NewThing’s Multi-Site Practicum is designed to help your staff formulate goals and action items so your team is prepared to reproduce new sites that reach people far from God.  At the end of the Multi-Site Practicum your team will leave with a well developed step-by-step strategic plan for how to go to multiple sites within your context. The Multi-Site Practicum will be led by the myself and key staff from Community Christian Church.

Here are the details:

  • Where?  Mountain Lake Community Church, Cummings, Georgia (Atlanta)
  • When? November 3 & 4, 2008
  • Cost? $219.00 (but this event is limited to small number of teams to maximize the experience)
  • To Register? or call 630.388.5101
  • More info?  NewThing Multi-Site Practicum

FREE Discover the Dream event at Catalyst!

Napkindream It was about a year into the life of COMMUNITY when I was sitting in a little Mexican restaurant at a table by myself thinking about the future of this new church.  It was while sitting there that I started scribbling on a napkin (see pic) the dream of being a reproducing church.  The dream was from God and it was a dream of a church that would meet in multiple locations and would continually reproduce all over Chicago and then beyond.  Today, COMMUNITY has nine locations in Chicago with 5,000 people attending each weekend and in addition to that our NewThing Network now has 22 churches across the U.S and one in the Philippines.  Every one of these campuses and every one of these churches are committed to this dream of reproducing to accomplish the mission of Jesus.

I know the power of discovering God’s dream in my life and I would like for every one of you to discoverDiscover_the_dream
the dream that God has for you.  That is why NewThing is hosting the first-ever Discover the Dream, a pre-conference event to the Catalyst conference in Atlanta. The Discover the Dream event is an invitation-only event being held October 8th from 8am to 11:30am; and as a frequent reader of this blog you are specifically invited to attend!  Cool, huh?  We are looking to connect with emerging leaders who dream of being a reproducing church so we can put you on the path to discovering how to make that dream a reality.  A generous breakfast will be provided, and the experience will be offered at no charge to the first 100 people who register.  Spaces are filling up fast, so register now by clicking HERE.   Come and join me for this one-of-a-kind event, Discover the Dream.