Multisite Signature

Four Thoughts

Before you read any further, understand these four thoughts about the multisite model at Houston's First:

  1. Multisite is about extending ministry to reach the lost. It’s our mandate and purpose for existence as a church.
  2. Multisite is focused on neighborhoods in our cities.
  3. Multisite is about creating, not cloning. As we multiply and the Gospel goes out, our approach will look different in different neighborhoods.
  4. Multisite empowers the Campus Pastor to shepherd his segment of the congregation.

What It Is for Us and What It Is Not

In Multisite Churches: Guidance for the Movement's Next Generation, Scott McConnell makes two simple statements that clearly articulate what multisite is and what is most definitely is not:
  • “By definition, multisite involves starting a site somewhere other than your current campus.”
  • “The multisite strategy does not replace any other method of participating in kingdom growth. It does not replace church planting, personal evangelism, visitation programs, investing and inviting, servant evangelism, or evangelistic training.”

What We Believe About Multisite

We believe in His Timing

Growing City
Our city's population is growing. The Houston area has grown 26% in the past 10 years and is expected to grow another 34% in the next 10 years.
Growing Church
Our weekly attendance is growing. Attendance at an all time high in worship services and Life Bible Studies. Parking at 7401 Katy Freeway (the Loop Campus) is at capacity.
New Technology
New technology makes remote campuses possible. With video streaming web technology, we can “transport” the message easier and at a lower cost, and the capabilities of the renovated Worship Center allow a more broadcast-friendly experience.
Our Experiences
We gained experience with multiple worship venues, such as Road Trips (2005), use of the Gym and Fellowship Center during the Worship Center renovation (2008), a Chapel video service, and our Downtown Campus (launched in 2011)

We believe in His Mission

Consistent with Our Historical Mission
Multisite is Great Commission and Acts 1:8 work. It’s about His glory through His people. The church (assembled community of believers: ekklesia) is the vehicle God uses to reach the lost.
Consistent with Our Local Strategy
Houston's First has a rich history of encouraging and revitalizing neighborhood congregations as a key part of our local missions effort. Since the 1980s, our church has worked with more than 75 local congregations all over the city.

We believe it extends His Ministry

This Is a Missions-Centered Endeavor
This strategy is missions-focused. It extends the ministry of our church rather than expanding our brand. Across the nation, the multisite strategy has experienced an 80% success rate as compared to a 30% success rate for traditional church plants.
Community and Quality
The multisite model brings together the best aspects of large churches and small churches. You experience a small-community feel, but with the same quality level you find at larger churches during the worship times, Life Bible Studies and other exported ministries.
New Contexts
  • To neighborhoods — A multisite strategy extends the ministry of Houston's First to the neighborhoods of our city where current members live. It assists in reaching friends and family unwilling to travel a great distance to church.
  • To affinity groups — This model increases the options for meeting locations, meeting times, and worship format. Worship styles can be customized based on the neighborhood. This enables a church to extend itself into niches like an office complex or a YMCA. The church can also focus more intently on neighborhood ministry needs and affinity groups such as a cancer center or assisted living facility.
Emerging Leadership
This model expands leadership opportunities for the congregation. Each time a new site is opened, leaders emerge not only at the new site but at the sending campus as well. Multisite expands opportunities for volunteers through new ministries (i.e. neighborhood affinity groups and clubs, set up crews, parking crews, technical teams, etc.).

We believe it is an Effective Model

It Preserves Our Core DNA
The multisite model preserves our church’s congregational structure and governance, while also retaining our signature statements in mission (Great Commission and Acts 1:8), vision (Relevant, Biblical, Community), strategy (Gather, Grow, Give), and beliefs (Baptist Faith and Message).
It Empowers The Campus Pastor
A healthy model uses video teaching as a resource for the on-campus pastor, freeing him to be involved in the lives and needs of the neighborhood. It also establishes him as the clear local leader of his staff and congregation.
It Is Good Stewardship

The multisite model can provide a lower cost of operation since support services can be shared across campuses. Worship, Creative, Communications, Production, HR, Security, Facilities and Operations can all be tooled to support multiple campuses.