The Village Church, the multisite Texas megachurch led by Matt Chandler, will transition from several campuses across the Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex to individual autonomous churches within the next five years, leaving behind a multisite model for a deeper commitment to local ministry and church planting.
Village expanded to a total of six campuses since Chandler became senior pastor 15 years ago, including one location—The Village Church Denton—that spun off in 2015.
Last Sunday, Chandler announced plans for the remaining five campuses to do the same by 2022, pending a members’ vote at each location. Village will not launch any future campuses, and the churches will roll out new names, original preaching, and more “contextualized” ministry programs.
“We believe, compelled by the Holy Spirit, that … to multiply out to individual autonomous churches gives us the best possible ability and capacity to contextually reach the city of Dallas with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Chandler, also the president of the Acts 29 church-planting network, in a video.
“We’re all a bit anxious right now … because this thing really is beautiful, and God has done some stunning and spectacular things. We’re just compelled that there are better days ahead.”
A Southern Baptist congregation, the Village Church gathered 11,400 weekly worshipers across its locations in 2015, with about half at its Flower Mound headquarters. Multisite churches tend to number 1,000 or more worshipers, but only about 8 percent are as big as Village, according to research by Leadership Network.
The church’s Plano campus is slated to transition first, as soon as 2019. Current campus staff will be invited to stay.
Campus pastors at each location already preach over a quarter of the time, about 14–16 Sundays a year. “They’re not emcees,” Chandler said. “They’re all central elders, helping build and establish programming [and] structures as well as shepherding in the church.”
Still, the popular pastor’s teaching remains a major draw for churchgoers and visitors.
SOURCE: KATE SHELLNUTT