Life.Church, one of the fastest-growing churches in the country, opened its 30th campus in Rogers, Arkansas, on Sunday, and two more campuses are expected to open by the end of the year.
Bobby Gruenewald, innovation leader at Life.Church who founded the popular YouVersion App, noted that the latest campus was significant in that it showed their ministries spreading to new metropolitan areas, whereas “for several years, we’ve just been expanding inside of cities that we already had locations.”
“That’s a new area for us, a new city, metro area. And we’ve done a few new metro areas in the last few years,” Gruenewald explained to CP.
Those cities include Overland Park and Wichita in Kansas as well as Omaha, Nebraska. Later this month, the multisite church will be opening its 31st campus in Springfield — Life.Church’s first location in Missouri.
Originally launched in 1996 with a small number of people meeting at a rented dance studio, Life.Church — led by Pastor Craig Groeschel — has grown to average 85,000 weekly worshipers in several states.
Gruenewald talked with The Christian Post on Wednesday about the church’s growth and his opinion on the best model for multisite ministries. He also addressed criticism. Here are excerpts from the interview:
CP: When did the 30th campus open and what is your opinion of this growth?
Gruenewald: We’ve really started to see some significant growth in the last few years, adding several campuses and picking up the pace in terms of new locations that we’re adding.
We’re excited about it. The church is continuing to grow. Not just the number of campuses, but attendance, and just a lot of the key metrics that we’re looking at. We see a lot of people coming to Christ through the ministry, which is a big emphasis for us, but it’s an exciting time for sure.
CP: In addition to the newly opened campus in Rogers, Arkansas, and the upcoming new campus in Springfield, Missouri, isn’t there also a 32nd campus opening soon?
Gruenewald: That’s correct. Our 32nd campus, we’ve announced the location. It’s in West Wichita. It will be our second in the Wichita metro area. It’s really the result of how fast our first campus in Wichita has grown. And so, we’ve added a second location.
The specific date of the launch isn’t set yet because its contingent on a few construction variables, because we’re actually building a facility out. It looks like it should definitely be before the end of the year. It won’t be this month for sure, but it will be in the next couple of months.
CP: For those who are not familiar, how do these campuses work? Do they show attendees video from the main Life.Church campus or do they have their own in-house preachers?
Gruenewald: Our model is that we have local campus teams, we’ll have a campus pastor, we’ll have local staff that focuses on children’s ministry, youth ministry, small groups, depending on the size of the campus, the team will be anywhere from five people up to maybe 18-20 people in size.
Usually when we’re starting a new location, its somewhere around five to six full time staff. And they are focused on that community or that part of a community if it’s in a larger metropolitan area.
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Source: Christian Post