Multi-site tip #1: Consider geography
This blog entry is part of a series of reflections on the multi-site model of church. After the whole series has been posted, you can do a search for multi-site within the blog to pull up the whole series.
For multi-site to work, the sites need to be geographically far enough away from each other to warrant having different sites. A 30-minute drive away (or more) will work; a 10-minute drive won’t. People will simply float back and forth between sites based on their convenience or preference that week. (There’s a game on this week, so I’ll go to the earlier service at the other location. I’m coming back from the mountains around then, so I’ll stop at the other location on my way.) Volunteers are also much more difficult to recruit and retain if people want to keep their options open to float between sites.
With only a 10 minute difference, you’re duplicating your efforts (hiring additional staff, doubling the worship logistics, adding a children’s program, and increasing your volunteer needs) for no real gain. It’s much easier to simply hold one service in a larger building or hold two services at the same location. However, if your sites are far enough apart to prevent floating, you have the potential to build a true core community at each site.