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Oct 31, 2015

“Mess-Communication”: Multisite Multipliers Keep Teams Talking

By Stephen Smith

I have a love-hate relationship with the avocado.

How can something so awesome in one moment transform into something so awful the next? Are you with me? Avocados weren’t really a staple food for me growing up. But when I finally muscled up and tried one just a few years ago, I was hooked. My daughter is the resident guacamole ninja in our house and I think hers is the absolute best.

When I say it’s the best, I mean it’s the best for like 30 min. I can get in there with a handful of chips and go for it but by the time dinner is over that mess has gone south, as they say. Yikes. It’s now a bowl of foul black goo. The change happened because we left it out at room temp and it just sat there on its own. If left alone, avocados don’t do so well.

As multisite multipliers, we need to guard against this same type of occurrence happening within our teams.

Let me get to the heart of it: without prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint. (Prov.29.18 ESV) Although it is a part of it, I’m not approaching this from the angle of command and control. I AM approaching this from the angle of advocating unencumbered communication of ideas and instruction in order to preserve relationship!

If you are multiplying through a multisite model, you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s not enough to share info once and then leave it untended. Vision takes cultivation. Dreams need occasional and, at times, constant stirring.

If you are leading teams whose fields of operation are spread across a city, you have to be that much more aware of the importance of getting information out early and often. The use of tools such as Skype, Blue Jeans, GroupMe, etc. can help you stay connected across space and time. It’s never been easier to meet up with people across long distances over an array of devices.

Although tech is essential, nothing, absolutely nothing, will replace in person meet ups. Keeping distributed teams connected requires “breathing the same air” at periodic times during your calendar. Various churches and organization flesh this out differently. The principle, however, is that you have to dream, plan, and laugh with each other if you want the team bonds to remain ironclad.

So, the analogy of the avocado holds up here. Untended relationships and prolonged exposure can ruin what could have been something so delicious! If you are leading remote teams, it’s on you to make the first move. Reinforcing relationships can preserve harmony, trust, and friendship. Make this a part of your weekly routine.

(Also, I am hearing of miraculous ways of keeping my guacamole fresher longer…something like salt or lemon juice or leaving the seed in. Any advice you have for me on that would help me out. I want the party to last longer! Loop me in people.)


Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith (@stephenandstar) serves in Houston with his wife and four kids. He shepherds four teams within the church: Music, Multisite, Media, and Marketing. He spends the remainder of his time these days with his head in a book or dealing with an unruly yard. His passion is leading worship through song with his wife and leveraging their lives to see ministry multiplied in their home church and beyond.


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