Although the language of multsite church planting is new to Huron Hills, it has been a growing movement with churches in the US in the past 10 years. Here’s 3 quick facts from recent research:
1) Approx. 3,000 churches in the US are involved with multisite ministry.
2) Multisite churches report a 90% success rate of sustainability
3) 79% of churches report that multisite efforts have increased the congregational leadership of their churches.
When will our multisite church planting begin? There are two answers to that question:
1. Multisite church planting begins today when we invite our friends to church. It begins today when we pray for those we know who are far from God. It begins today when we trust God and step out in faith.
2. Our multisite church planting is following an adaptation of an 18 month “count-down-to-launch” white paper published in-house by Converge Worldwide, our sponsoring denominational movement. Our hope is to determine where we will launch by spring of 2012, soft-launch our initial site by December of 2012, and have our Public Grand Opening at Easter of 2013.
However, we are seeking the continual confirmation of God’s leading and want to be open to the Holy Spirit’s direction. This means we will be willing to adjust, adapt, change or even stop our timeline if God leads.
One of the first questions to answer about our multisite church planting is “Why?” Why are we doing this?
The simple answer is that we are moving forward to reach those who are far from God to draw them into a close and living relationship with Jesus Christ. This is our mission as a church, and is founded on Matthew 28:18-20.
The greater Ann Arbor area includes almost 250,000, and about 67% say that they are non-religious. That means that around us there are approximately 167,000 people who have not heard of the power of Jesus Christ to change lives.
Out of those thousands, we know that many will not make the choice to drive across town to visit a church that is outside of their normal circle. Just like we don’t drive across town to shop at stores or do activities because they are “too far away,” we know that people will not drive to NE Ann Arbor to visit our church.
We are not moving forward in this venture to find people who attend other churches who would just like to find a better show, discover people who are unhappy with their churches and show them a better way, or help people who are displeased at our current location “do it right” at another location.
Our call, our hope, our mission, is to see the lost found, the broken healed, and the downhearted given hope, and the center of that hope is Jesus Christ.
We really need a sense of moving forward together under God’s direction. One way we can work together is by gathering for prayer and conversation. Below are the scheduled meetings for September through December, all taking place in the Chapel.
Round Table Discussion: Wednesday, September 21, 7pm
Prayer Gathering: Sunday, October 16, 7pm
Round Table Discussion: Wednesday, November 16, 7pm
Prayer Gathering: Sunday, December 11, 7pm
1964: Huron Hills founded and a vision for planting churches is born
1990′s: Strong Consideration/Initial Effort at Planting
2009-10: Kingdom Growth Group/Congregational Round Table/Board Recommendation
A congregational growth group researches church planting and recommends moving forward. A round table discussion with congregational members affirms the recommendation and the Board advises staff to take next steps
2010-2011: Converge Worldwide/Assessment/Initial approaches
Dave Collins is assessed as a church planter at the Converge Worldwide/Vision 360 Church planters assessment. Initial approaches are considered regarding philosophy of ministry etc.
summer 2011: Launch Team Formed/Monthly Prayer and Conversation meetings begin.
Church planting has been in the DNA since the founding of Huron Hills back in the mid-1960’s. Shortly after the church was formed the founding members developed a vision of planting other churches. Following the call of Jesus in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), the desire to see people far from God move into a close and living relationship has been in on the heart of our church for many years. Recently as we began to sense God’s call towards more definite steps to fulfill this vision, a group of congregational members completed a study of the ways that churches are planted and urged the church to move forward. With the blessing of the Church Board, and the support of the pastoral team, a Launch Team has been formed. This team will lead the church in prayer, discernment, discussion, and input as we move towards a second site, so that Huron Hills will become “One Church with Two Locations.” This type of church planting is called “multi-site church planting.”