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I recently came across an interesting and thought-provoking article by Jonathan Leeman, the Editorial Director of 9Marks, entitled Twenty-Two Problems with Multi-site Churches. Here is the introduction to the article:

I love my gospel-loving friends in multi-site churches—both leaders and members! But as Christians we work continually to reform our churches in light of Scripture. So I trust a little push back on the multi-site structure serves everyone, assuming my concerns turn out to be valid. Below are 22 misgivings I have about the multi-site model. All of these apply to churches that use a video preacher. Over half apply to churches who employ a preacher on every campus.

Here are the first four problems listed by Leeman:

1. There’s no clear example of a multi-site church in the New Testament, only supposition. “Well, surely, the Christians in a city could not have all met…” (but see Acts 2:46; 5:12; 6:2).

2. If a church is constituted by the preaching of the Word and the distribution of the ordinances under the binding authority of the keys, every “campus” where those activities transpire is actually a church. “Multi-site church” is a misnomer. It’s a collection of churches under one administration.

3. For every additional multi-site campus out there, there’s one less preaching pastor being raised up for the next generation.

4. What effectively unites the churches (campuses) of a multi-site church are a budget, a pastor’s charisma, and brand identity. Nowhere does the Bible speak of building church unity in budgets, charisma, and brand.

I recommend reading the rest of the article here. As always, your comments are welcome.

One thought on “Jonathan Leeman Identifies "Twenty-Two Problems with Multi-site Churches"

  1. I read the article when 9Marks published it. Those who defend the multi-site concept lose big time. How can a man shepherd the flock if the flock is scattered across a large town or several towns? We have too many preachers and not enough pastors.

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