Friday, January 08, 2010

Multi-Site Bibliography

One church meeting at multiple locations is a very hot trend in American church life, for lots of reasons. I wish it were a hotter trend in the Unitarian Universalist world, but two churches are actively trying it, mine and First Unitarian in San Diego. There are lots of variations on the theme, and here's some of the media buzz on the subject. If your church is thinking about multi site, please leave a comment..I'm feeling very lonely!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-17-1Amultichurches17_CV_N.htm?csp=usat.me (New York City: one pastor preaching live in several locations)

http://www.outreachmagazine.com/index.php?news=3367 (Impact of multi-site on the Evangelical side of the religious world

http://www.thirdquarterconsulting.com/ Blog devoted to Multi-site (Evangelical perspective)

http://www.thirdquarterconsulting.com/ audio of a panel discussion with one dissenter about the benefits of multi site (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)


http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091001/mergers-with-larger-churches-revive-dying-ones/ Multi-Site as an alternative to closing churches which have become too small.

Five books on the subject can be found at Amazon by clicking the link on the right of this blog and searching for "multi-site" (If you buy anything, the church gets 5% of your purchase...thanks!)

4 comments:

ella said...

Our church is quite small--about 100 members and probably 50 or so active nonmembers. Our trouble is one of geographic spread: we cover nearly an entire county; five distinct regions, and a two-hour diameter. For Sunday services we have some success in gathering. For other activities, social and organizational, it is a tremendous struggle to get people to church. I am thinking hard about models of multi-site ministry that would give us avenues for experiencing community without the environmental and scheduling impact of at-the-church meetings. Much of our region is isolated--not much high speed internet, and not much human contact.

What if we could have four remote sites with DSL and webcams?

--Leela Sinha, serving at the UU Church of Ellsworth, Maine

Judy said...

The Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, PA has two campuses, both within the city limits of Harrisburg. They currently hold worship at one site every Sunday and at the other site once a month, with the plan to hold worship at both sites every week starting next year. One is a typical suburban church location, and the other is very much inner city. It's an experiment that seems to be going well.

http://small-family.blogspot.com said...

Christine,

I found this short piece on a Methodist Foundation site. I think there's a reference for a 1000 multi-site congregation survey.

http://www.nmcmfi.org/forms/parish_paper/2009/6-2009.pdf

best, Dan

http://small-family.blogspot.com said...

Leela,

hi! I'm Dan Small, and I serve on the iMinistry committee in iMinister's Church here in NM.

Your ideas are doable I think. Consider using Skype with MeBeam:
http://www.voip-sol.com/free-multi-person-skype-video-conferencing-chat/

The startup costs would be somewhat substantial for a 4-way video system:

4 computers
4 cameras
4 DSL/Cable net connections
4 projectors or big-screen monitors
optional audio boost?

best,

Dan