Having led a multi-site church for the last 8 years there are some unique tensions to this type of church. I call it the Multi-Site Church Tug Of War. The tension is a pull between reproducing and consistent quality. Many churches will never feel the tug of war between reproducing and consistent quality because they are only trying to achieve one or the other and not both. But for a reproducing church (a far better term to describe what we are doing at CCC) it is not an option to chose either/or; we have made the intentional choice to go with Jim Collins “genius of the and” and do both – reproduce new locations and new churches and do them with a high level of consistent quality.
When we got to about five locations I started to really see it and feel this tug of war. (Our fifth site in Shorewood, IL currently doing great – we are about 18 months into it and it is averaging 450-480 with over 70% of our people in small groups). However, as we continued to reproduce it seemed that our consistent quality began to waiver. What waivered was not quality, but consistent quality. Our celebration services still have a very high level of quality…a value that we have always held. But it seemed that we were not being as consistent at meeting that level of quality week after week in all of our CCC locations.
It would be easy to say, “well, what do you expect, Dave…four years ago you had two locations and you hadn’t planted a church and now you guys have seven and soon to be eight locations (Pilsen-Chicago launches in February) with four church plants… of course with that kind of reproduction your consistent quality is going to suffer”. Ugh! I can’t buy it. How does Starbucks do it? How does McDonalds do it? I mean they reproduce over and over and over again…and they do it with a consistent quality. I have more to say about this…and I will come back to it. Any thoughts?