Multiplication through Multi-Site

In 2010, the Forest Grove Community Church congregation discerned that we would embrace multi-site as a strategy for ministry in Saskatoon. Multi-site means that we intend to be one church that has multiple congregations who meet in numerous locations. Our approach is that each congregation has inter-generational gathering, on-site teaching (rather than video-venue), open community, and celebration of communion and baptism. Our intent is that each congregation is significantly different than the others.

In Fall, 2010 we initiated our second congregation in the Broadway area of our city. We plan to continue to add congregations as we grow in this important multiplying ministry. We are in the process of discerning our next congregation.

Reasons We Moved to Multi-site

  • Multi-site is not the the ultimate purpose – transformation in Christ is! We want to evaluate all our ministry in light of this principle.
  • The multi-site model heightens creativity and innovation by giving FGCC an opportunity to extend into a diversity of places in our city, learning and speaking different kinds of languages as we go. These languages are often about simply how we communicate the timeless truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Multi-site brings together the best aspects of large churches and smaller churches.
  • Multi-site enables untapped gifts and talents to emerge and be used because of the number of congregations.
  • Different congregations are often made up of people not previously connected with any church.
  • Multi-site has the potential to bring spiritual renewal to all FGCC congregations.
  • Multi-site reminds us that we are part of a larger Kingdom mission.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about multi-site

What is multi-site? A multi-site church is one church with multiple congregations meeting in multiple locations sharing the same vision, having a shared budget, a shared staff and a shared leadership team.

Why multi-site? Multi-site is a kind of church multiplication. For FGCC, the intent is that each congregation is distinct and significantly different from the others. This stretches and challenges us to speak more languages and learn other cultures right here in our city.  It helps connect with more people who might not connect with only one way of doing church. It also feels like risk taking obedience that God is calling us to take.  These are just some of the many reasons we have moved in this direction.

Why not simply plant a church? Traditional church planting is significantly more complicated than multi-site. A new church plant requires distinct staffing and infrastructure like office space and equipment. This makes a typical church plant much more expensive. New church plants are also often expected to become financially self sufficient in a few years. This can jeopardize a focus on mission. Our approach to multi-site involves sharing resources like staff and office. Site pastors have the benefit of being connected to an established leadership team. Site pastors also receive regular coaching and other kinds of support.

How does multi-site affect church finances? There are expenses associated each time we begin a new congregation, but the financial risk and actual costs are lower than some other options, like a typical church plant.  Further, as members of new congregations are faithful in giving, our overall finances may actually grow.

Is the sermon and speaker the same at each location? The sermon content is often similar at each location, but the speaker is different. This helps us keep a sense of unity in our teaching between sites. We do not use video or other kinds of technological means of sermon delivery.

How many sites will we have? We don’t have any limit on number of sites. The number will be based on how we feel God leading us.