While in Kansas City I went out to dinner with Dudley Rutherford the Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California and Drew Sherman the Senior Pastor of Highland Meadows Christian Church in the Dallas area. The food was pretty average but both of these guys are great guys! Drew has been to the NewThing Multi-Site Practicum and knows our multi-site material better than I do! He was quoting stuff that we say at the practicum to me before I could think of it…very funny! Highland Meadows Christian Church has a terrific vision for reproducing sites.
However, it was Dudley’s idea of starting multiple sites all on the same weekend that has me thinking. Shepherd of the Hills Church has a remarkable history but an even more remarkable future. The church has grown to over 6,000 in attendance at two locations and has started three daughter churches with a great track record. And they are planning what I would call a turbo multi-site launch for next October. They are going to start four sites all at once. Wow!
I wrote a post last March titled, And I Thought Starting Two Sites At Once Was Risky describing the only two churches in North America that I know who have attempted this kind of launch. One of those churches was Living Hope that went from one site to five on the same weekend and jumped from 3301 to 7446 last Easter. If you check there website they now list four sites and I don’t know what happened to the fifth site since launch. The other church is The Chapel which originally planned to go from one site to four on the weekend of August 27th. Plans have been revised. They have launched their second site and are planning the launch of sites three and four in the next five weeks.
As I talked to Dudley what makes their situation at Shepherd of the Hills Church unique are a couple things. First, they will use the videocast of Dudley for teaching 60% of the time at the new sites and have the campus pastor speak 40% of the time. Secondly, they are hiring campus pastors who will each be given a $125k start-up budget and then asked to raise another $125k for the launch of the new site. I like that a lot. They are looking toward October 2008 for the launch of these new Shepherd of the Hills locations. It will be fun to watch and with their track record, it will probably be wildly successful!