1. What exactly is “Multiply”?

Multiply is the next chapter in gospel-centered multiplication for The Village, a new vision to see the kingdom of God expand in DFW and beyond. It includes transitioning all our campuses into local, autonomous churches and establishing a local church planting network made up of churches within the DFW area. With Multiply, we are calling you to pray, give and go, particularly as it relates to campus transitions and church planting. We hope that the result will be more hearts, communities and cities reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. What compelled this change in your multi-site strategy?

As we taught back in 2014 during the Acts sermon series when launching the vision for campus transitions, the Holy Spirit really compelled this change. This process began as a conversation several years ago and has matured into a growing conviction. We are leaning heavily on the words of Acts 15:28: “It seems good to us and the Holy Spirit” in this situation.

As with the Denton transition, conversations and prayer among The Village Church’s leadership about future campus transitions will be brought to the attention of the church body as a whole and voted upon by the campus in question’s Covenant Members when the Holy Spirit compels the leadership to move forward.

3. What is the overall gain of transitioning campuses?

Sometimes the economics of the Kingdom don’t match our economic sensibilities. We read about a shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to search for the one that is lost. Jesus praises Mary when she pours an entire bottle of expensive perfume on His feet. A widow is told that her two coins are more valuable than the contributions of the wealthy. A farmer pays the same wages to workers who put in different hours. At other times, armies are dwindled from thousands to hundreds to make a point, while loaves of bread and fish are multiplied. Kingdom economics don’t always work well on a typical balance sheet.

Although this is a spiritual decision, not a mathematical one, we do see several positive gains with these transitions:

  • The church’s focus and contextualization would improve. This contextualized mission would be reinforced from the pulpit and by the church leadership (elders, deacons and staff). Our original hope with multi-site was to provide greater contextual ministry, so a transition of this nature clearly aligns with the original aspirations for campuses.
  • As George Peters writes in A Theology of Church Growth, “The concept of multiplication seems to point in the direction of an increasing number of groups and churches rather than an expansion of existing ones.” This stirs within the leadership a growing conviction to consider what opportunities we might be able to leverage with multi-site.
  • This is a concrete and tangible outworking of our church’s mission statement, specifically gospel-centered multiplication.
  • It is proactive succession. At some point in time, each and every church will face the issue of succession. We believe we can be on the front end of it and celebrate it rather than be surprised by succession—or, worse, reluctant to embrace it.

4. What is the timeline for these transitions?

Our hope is that, within the next five years, we will transition all of our campuses into autonomous churches. While there is not a set date for each campus, know that we will allow ample time for our elders, staff and church to prepare accordingly for transition. We will not rush the timeline to assure we handle all transitions with care and detail.

For reference, between the Denton campus’ vote to become an autonomous church and its inauguration service as The Village Church Denton, 15 months passed. This timeline may be lengthened or shortened depending on the particular situation of each campus, but we are committed to transitioning campuses well, using whatever time is necessary.

5. What if a significant group of Covenant Members do not vote in favor of a transition?

If this is the case, we will not move forward with the transition in question at the time, but we will continue to teach and preach out of our growing conviction to multiply the gospel and use the multi-site model as a strategy for planting healthy churches.

6. Will Covenant Members from other campuses vote on transitions?

Only Covenant Members from the campus in question will vote on the decision to become an autonomous church. However, if the campus votes in favor of the transition, then members from other campuses will vote on the transfer of assets—the building, equipment, etc.—to the new church. We will, though, be asking our members and attendees across all campuses to be praying about all our transitions.

7. What are the staffing implications for campus transitions?

The current campus staff would be invited to stay and participate in its transition. Please keep in mind that there are no guarantees of what the future will bring. This is true regardless of the campus or church at which we serve.

Also, new churches mean new benefit packages, etc. These will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. Some staff members of transitioning campuses might not be inclined to stay at their campus. Although we would not be able to ensure continued employment at The Village Church, each person is welcome to have these conversations, and we will make case-by-case decisions.

8. What does this mean for all current and future campuses?

For current campuses, we will prayerfully and patiently move in this direction looking for three key indicators: 1) the man, 2) the leadership and 3) the membership. Does the campus pastor have the conviction and calling to lead a church? Is the leadership of the campus (elders, deacons and staff) prepared for the transition? Does the membership affirm the direction and are they committed to this new mission?

Regarding new campuses, we will not seek to launch any more campuses, making the Southlake campus in 2016 our sixth and final launch. Instead, we hope to increase in gospel-centered multiplication by helping to plant new churches in the DFW area and beyond.

9. Is there an order for campuses to transition? Which campus will be next?

There is not a concrete order for the remaining campuses to transition. Some things to consider would be the readiness of the campus, how long the campus has been a campus and the criteria in question 8. Based on this, the Plano campus will be the next campus to pursue transition, with a probable 2019 launch.

10. What is the purpose of the church planting network?

The purpose of the DFW Church Planting Network is to reach every unreached person in DFW with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Locally, the network is a collaboration of churches who are working together to plant churches in DFW. There are 7 million people in DFW alone, and we want to reach every man, woman and child with the gospel.

We’ll also be working with Acts 29 to plant churches locally and globally, as well. Currently there are 679 Acts 29 churches around the world.