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Video vs. Live Teaching: What Multisite Strategy Is Best For You?

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Multisite Strategy Questions #1: When a church decides to launch its first campus, one of the biggest questions is, “How will we share our messages with them?” 

Determining which strategy is best for your church requires your team to think through a variety of factors: 

  1. Should we use video or live communicators? 
  2. How much will the technology cost? 
  3. Would our teaching team and content translate well on a screen? 
  4. Do we want every campus using the same message each week?
  5. What type of Campus Pastors will we need to hire? 

… just to name a few. 

Choosing the best teaching model for your church is critical to the successful launch of new campuses—and there are pros and cons to each approach, especially in the areas of financial investment, sustainability, scalability, and leadership development. 

When choosing a multisite strategy -- video teaching or live teaching -- consider the pros and cons to each approach, especially in the areas of financial investment, sustainability, scalability, and leadership development. Click To Tweet 

How do churches choose their multisite strategy? Considering finances, scalability, and more, leaders choose between video or live teaching.

The Case for Video Teaching 

We often liken multisite to a chain restaurant. Despite differing owners and employees, a customer should be able to walk into each unique location with similar expectations and receive a similar experience. The same is true of a multisite campus (and if this idea makes you uncomfortable, you may want to consider church planting rather than going multisite). 

Video teaching is one key strategy for developing unity throughout multiple campuses, as it ensures every campus has a consistent teaching experience. Video teaching also helps to enable a complete alignment of mission, vision, and culture across all locations. 

In video teaching campuses, Campus Pastors can focus their time on teambuilding, pastoral care, and leadership development without the additional burden of sermon preparation. This also allows your church to leverage your teaching team for greater impact with no additional prep time.

More on multisite: Is Your Next Multisite Campus Online?

How do churches choose their multisite strategy? Considering finances, scalability, and more, leaders choose between video or live teaching.

The Case for Live Teaching 

The “pros” of live teaching are mostly related to leadership development: live weekly teaching opens up more opportunities for developing new communicators and provides more growth opportunities for those with strong teaching gifts. Live teaching also requires less financial investment into streaming equipment and other technology. 

However, there are several challenges to this approach:

  • Having live teachers at every location can easily lead to misalignment of mission, vision, and culture—as the weekend message is the most influential and consistent piece of communication.
  • Weekly message prep reduces the amount of time Campus Pastors can invest in their teams.
  • Live teaching creates a greater staffing challenge: every campus needs to find a pastor who is both a high-capacity leader and also a strong communicator. 

For these reasons, best practices point to a multisite strategy of video teaching to start. This teaching model provides a consistent teaching experience and maintain unity across locations. 

Choosing Your Multisite Strategy

In addition to a careful study of several churches that employ the different multisite strategies, also call on your connections with other pastors and leaders to inquire about their experience.

  • How does their chosen strategy benefit their mission? In what ways has it been a barrier?
  • Were there unforeseen obstacles or costs that weren't factored into the plan?
  • How has their specific multisite strategy burdened or relieved leadership? Which teams are especially important based on their chosen method?

Need resources? The Unstuck Group has valuable, free resources that have helped thousands of churches choose their multisite strategies. Bookmark their website or follow on social to keep up with the latest in ministry training, practical tools for church leadership, and helpful webinars and trainings.

Join The Unstuck Group for a FREE webinar event on March 31, 2022 with author Tony Morgan to help churches engaging multisite strategies to clarify a healthy way forward.

How did you decide on your church's multisite strategy? What questions should other leaders be asking?

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