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September 12, 2018

Launching a Student Ministry at a New Campus or a Church Plant

By New Churches Team

The DNA of a Church Campus

There are many different ways to develop multisite campuses and new church plants. You can have twin campuses that look exactly the same; you can have sibling campuses that are definitely related, but not mirrors of each other; you can have cousin campuses that resemble each other, but require a deeper look to find the relation; and you can have a network that’s not related nor do they look the same but they share a common vision or mission. Each of these options will work for different churches with different needs.

Recently, I chatted with Ryan McDermott, the Director of Student Ministries and Young Adults at Christ Fellowship Church in South Florida. He and I discussed what it looks like to launch a student ministry at a new campus or a church plant. Ryan began leading his first student ministry at the age of 19. Five years later he joined the staff at Christ Fellowship Church, where he has been for eight years. Christ Fellowship currently has nine campuses plus two smaller expressions of their student ministry in communities where they don’t currently have a campus. For Ryan and Christ Fellowship Church, creating twin campuses allows them to be the best stewards of their time and resources, and helps members know they will receive the same experience no matter what campus they attend.

What Does It Mean to Be Aligned?

Christ Fellowship Church follows a method of alignment for all of their campuses. That means that every campus is the same experience. On Sunday mornings, students attend worship with their family and have an opportunity to serve. They then come together midweek for worship, teaching, and groups. All campuses use the same graphics and the same videos. While each campus does have a student pastor who teaches live, those student pastors sit down each week and craft their lesson together, so even the message they are sharing is the same. Christ Fellowship Church has found that they have many students who attend multiple campuses due to unique family situations. By being aligned, this allows those students to alternate campuses and still get the same experience.

What It Takes

Because every single campus needs to look exactly the same, Ryan has created a list of exactly what it takes to launch an aligned student ministry at each campus. By waiting to launch the student ministry until they can follow each of these guidelines, they set themselves up for success.

  • A Developed Leader. The student ministry leader must be trained and already know the vision, mission, and philosophy of Christ Fellowship Church.
  • A Defined Budget. Christ Fellowship Church uses a metrics based budget that formulates a cost per student based on expected attendance.

To read the rest of the article, and to watch the entire video training, click here for the full videos and post.

These videos are part of Plus Membership. To get full access to them, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.


New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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