Despite some mega meltdowns, the multi-site church movement is still growing. Much like a franchise, consistency is maintained through centralized leadership that, often, selects the worship song and a popular teacher via video.
There are different ways to do multi-site. A church might acquire nearby suburban churches that are experiencing decline, hold satellite services in a movie theater, a jail or apartment building.
Thom Rainer's recent podcast, “Why the Intersection of the Multi-site Movement and the Replanting Movement Is So Powerful,” makes a good case for megachurches moving into church properties that have disbanded or decide to be replanted. Kingdom properties remain in the kingdom. This is particularly vital in downtown areas, where property values are high and a gospel witness is needed.
A different strategy is the multi-church strategy where multiple congregations meet in the same building, sharing expenses and maximizing the use of kingdom properties. Both these strategies work but instead of an either/or choice, it can be a both/and.
For a church that already shares space, adding a service from a multi-site church as another option is not a stretch. For a multi-site church, the host church can become a mission point. Along with a worship service for members of the multi-site church who live in the area, there is, also, an opportunity to provide benevolence ministry in under-resourced areas. The pastor of the host church can serve as the campus pastor.
Of course, egos are always a problem but not just on the part of pastors. Strong lay leaders are reluctant to relinquish control. Pride, however, is not one of the fruits of the spirit and is contrary to the kingdom attitude required to advance the gospel. Humility is needed if we are to maintain a presence in the inner-city and preserve valuable kingdom real estate.