MG+A / Biltmore Partner for Another Campus

MG+A bgan its partnership with Biltmore Baptist in Asheville, NC at the infant stages of its multi-campus strategy.  As a first phase, MG+A completed a major renovation to Biltmore’s existing main campus sanctuary, redesigning the stage and adding 600 stadium seats resulting in increased capacity to 2,500+.

Moving forward, Biltmore knew its growth would cap in the near future and began to execute one of the best multi-site campus strategies we have seen.  In 2015, MG+A was again called on to design and renovate an existing facility into a 5th campus in Hendersonville, NC.  The project consisted of converting an existing 35,000 sf operations facility of a local NASCAR team to a new church campus that could accommodate 1,000+ in a single hour on a Sunday.

We recently spent some time with Biltmore’s Bruce Frank, discussing their strategy that has allowed them to grow from a one campus church of 3,000 to a 5 campus church averaging over 7,000 attendees on any given weekend.

MG+A:  What initially drove you to the multi-site strategy? 

Bruce:  To fulfill the mission, reach more, increase impact, maximize stewardship of resources.  Also, to develop relationships in that community to reach more people for Christ. The closer a congregation meets to where the people live they are trying to reach, the more effective its evangelism and community outreach can be. Multi-site puts the “local” back in the local church – bringing us closer to where people live; connecting and inviting them to services, seeing and responding to the needs in the local community.

We believe the church works best when it’s local – we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ to our communities, and want to do life with the body of Christ around us. Stay where you are; serve where you live; be the church in that community.  The desire as a multi-site church is for all of our campuses to directly impact and draw those who are unengaged or unchurched in their community.

MG+A:  What are the main ingredients that your team looks for in a viable new satellite launch?

Bruce:  God’s direction and vision for the church. Opportunity, outreach needs in that area, and availability along with location, demographics, and cost. Ensuring it’s done in a way that is Biblical and God-honoring.  Also, for people already attending a BBC campus, but are driving more than 20 minutes.

MG+A:  Describe benefits as you see them in multi-site over mega campus.  

Bruce: A multi-site church is one church meeting in multiple locations to reach the local community; that shares a common vision, budget and leadership.  We see these as benefits as it relates to multi-site:

  • Assists in reaching those unwilling to travel a great distance to church, taking the church to the people, rather than them having to drive long distances to a church – reaching the communities around us
  • Brings together the best aspects of larger churches and smaller churches
  • Increases the total number of available seats during optimal worship times at less cost
  • Overcomes geographic barriers when a church facility is landlocked or tightly zoned
  • Enables untapped talent to emerge each time a new venue or site is opened
  • Mobilizes volunteers through an added variety of ministry opportunities
  • Improves a church’s stewardship of funds and resources
  • Enables a church to extend itself into smaller niches
  • Models and trains people for church planting elsewhere
  • Provides a pipeline for the development of emerging leaders and future staff

We exist to glorify God by developing disciples who reach up, reach in, and reach out.