He may look 22 but Sam Monk has been the pastor of Equippers Church Auckland for the past 18 years! Equippers has 20 locations in New Zealand, and 18 around the world. These range from small gatherings, to the 2500 person Auckland church, which, may we add, is portable and moves between venues across the city!
Here are 5 tips Sam gave us for planting new campuses and effectively running multiple location churches:
1. IT’S NOT ABOUT STRATEGY, IT’S ABOUT LISTENING TO WHAT GOD IS SAYING
Sam says that when he thinks about a new location, he doesn’t think about putting pins on a map, he just listens to what God is saying – as crazy or illogical as it may be. You have to follow the voice of God and not a set strategy.
2. SIGNIFICANT MINISTRY FLOWS OUT OF SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP
Through relationships, Equippers Church is able to navigate their way through a lot of issues and challenges that come with multi-campus churches. Sam says the church is a whole lot of friends challenging one another to go higher in God.
3. DON’T BUILD FENCES, DIG WELLS
Equippers Church is very value-based and they aren’t big on control mechanisms. Control is the enemy of growth. Instead of building fences, Equippers seeks to “dig wells”. Outback, where there are no fences, what keeps the herd together is digging a well. As long as that well is overflowing, people gather to it but the moment that runs dry, they scatter and you need fences to contain them. To try and keep thing as authentic and really located in the spirit of God has been key to the expansion of Equippers Church and helps keep things connected.
4. COME UNDER PEOPLE AND RELEASE WHAT IS IN THEM
Sam says that as churches, it is our role to come under people and release what is in them. This may be a church, a business or something else but serving what is in a specific person, realizing their gifts and potential, brings connection in the church as a whole.
5. IT’S NOT ABOUT STAYING RELEVANT, IT’S ABOUT GOING AFTER PEOPLE WHO ARE FAR FROM GOD
Marketing in the world is about manipulation and perceived need – making things relevant to people. If something is authentic, it will grow by nature and people’s lives will be touched. As churches, our goal should not seem cool and relevant through the way we brand and market ourselves. Our focus should be reaching the lost. If you have a heart to connect with these people, then you are using the mediums that they are using in their everyday life in an effective way to win their worlds. A marketing campaign can add to your church, but it is the heart behind it that will really determine whether or not it thrives. Most people (around 80%), respond to Jesus under the age of 25. This means that staying relevant to the younger generation will occur naturally when your heart is, first and foremost, geared toward reaching people.