A few weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting (and becoming friends with) one of the pioneers in satellite (or multi-site) church ministry, Geoff Surratt. He gave me some great ideas as we move toward launching our LifeSpringsWV ministry.
One of the key concepts was something they’d used at Seacoast Church, conveniently acronymed as “iPOD”. The idea behind it is to provide “freedom within fences” for the satellite congregations. It starts by asking, “What makes our church unique?” These are the things we must transfer to the new sites, the non-negotiables as it were. From there we can decide what things are optional and what are absolute no-ways.
Here’s the iPOD breakdown, along with a couple examples. What I’d like to get are some opinions on what you think fits in each category.
I = Initial. These are the things the campus must have at startup. For instance, it would be very difficult for a church to be part of “us” and launch without a dynamic children’s ministry in place, without friendly First Impressions and Hospitality Teams, without an authentic worship experience.
P = Priority. While a church could launch without them, there should be a plan in place to provide these types of things within the first six months. An example of this might be Connection Groups, assuming the new site didn’t use Connection Groups to build a core prior to launch.
O = Optional. New locations can choose to use these or not. Connection Groups are non-negotiables. However, the way a local site chooses to implement them (long-term vs. semester-based, topic-based vs. sermon-based, etc.) could vary based on the needs and makeup of a specific location.
D = DON’T! If a church does this, it’s not a LifeSpring church. Poor quality? That’s a don’t. Music that doesn’t relate to the intended audience? Don’t. Unfriendly? Don’t even think about it.
So, those are some examples. What do you see as fitting where in SSC’s iPOD?
(For more info on our multi-site motivation, see "Moving Beyond Spout Springs")