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.