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July 11, 2017

Developing Campus Pastors as a Multisite Church

By Geoff Surratt

Campus pastors have one of the most important jobs when starting a church plant or going multisite. They are the visionary leaders that guide the mission behind the new campus. It is crucial to take the time to invest and develop the leaders of a new campus. Here are ten ways you can invest in and develop your campus pastors.

1. Create a campus pastor culture.

You should always be looking to develop your next campus pastor. Ask every leader on your staff if they see themselves as a campus pastor. If someone sees themselves as eventually becoming a campus pastor, you are able to start developing them early on.

2. Require every leader to name a successor.

Every leader, no matter the ministry, must name a successor. Ask them who will take over their position, or who would take over a new campus position? When they name two or three people, have them start developing and mentoring their successors.

3. Meet with campus pastors one-on-one.

It’s important to meet as a group but also sit down face-to-face and ask campus pastors about their challenges and successes. The classroom can’t compete with on the job training. One-on-one meetings can provide feedback of what the campus pastors are doing well (and not doing well) as well as what they can do better in the future. This feedback is critical in huge in developing campus pastors. The only way to develop campus pastors is to let them make mistakes and walk through how to learn from the situation to grow into an even better campus pastor.

4. Encourage experienced campus pastors to coach inexperienced campus pastors.

Campus pastors coaching and mentoring other campus pastors is largely beneficial for both parties. Having one experienced campus pastor developing an inexperienced campus pastor allows for the mentee to ask real and practical questions about what they are facing and talk to someone who has been through similar situations.

5. Host monthly meetings with all campus pastors.

It is important to pour into campus pastors on a regular basis. Monthly meetings allow them to be around other campus pastors who share the wins, as well as losses, and provide an opportunity to pray with and for one another and their campuses. This time also gives them a chance to share what they’re learning at their campus that may help another campus.

Here’s an acronym to guide monthly meetings using the word RAISE:

R- Reproduction. Who’s your next campus pastor?

A- Accountability. What are your goals?

I- Innovations. What are you trying that’s new?

S- Synergy. How are we aligned?

E- Encouragement. How can we help each other along the way?

6. Ensure campus pastors meet regularly with senior pastor.

At each monthly meeting, provide the campus pastors the opportunity to have lunch with the senior pastor. This gives them time to learn from what the senior pastor did and what worked for him.

7. Create an online group to share ideas, mistakes, prayer requests, and so forth.

Create a Facebook or other online group where they share different ideas, reminders, prayer requests with each other. This provides ongoing communication outside of the monthly meeting.

8. Utilize video cameras at all campuses to watch weekend services.

Video cameras can be helpful to watch weekend services and rewatch/analyze the videos.

9. Hold all-staff meetings.

All staff meetings are a great opportunity for campus pastors to see the big picture of what the entire church is doing.

10. Review the budget and goals for each campus quarterly.

Every quarter, go over the campus pastor’s budget and goals. Provide feedback and work on ways to align the budget and goals if needed.

(This content by Geoff was adapted from our course, Moving Toward Multisite.)

Do you have what it takes to be a campus pastor? How does this role differ from a church planter? Or from a senior pastor? Learn from our research-based and practitioner-tested scope and sequence to develop campus pastors in our course, Essential Campus Pastoring.


Geoff Surratt

Geoff Surratt (@GeoffSurratt) has over 30 years of ministry experience and enjoys helping church planters just starting out, pastors growing a ministry, and megachurch leaders figuring what is next.


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