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Internet leadership staff is mission critical to multisite churches.

Internet leadership staff is mission critical to multisite churches.

I’ve had the privilege of serving in three great multisite churches and to interact with a bunch more through the consulting I do with Jim Tomberlin. This week I want to let you in on three different types of people I believe every staff team needs to do multisite well.


42% American’s use facebook. That’s a higher percentage of the population than watched the Super Bowl in 2011 – which was the most watched TV event in history. We live in a world where a news site that started as a blog sells for $315 billion and an online coupon site is worth multiple times more than the New York Times.

New Flash Folks . . . the internet is here to stay . . . and continues to remake our culture. It’s not going the way of the C.B. Radio.

Take a look at this map of New Jersey . . . it shows the density of people attending our “church online” experience. (About 50% of our church online crowd is from New Jersey.) The two green “pins” on this map represent the locations of our existing campuses. The blue pin shows where we are launching our next campus in the fall of 2011.

Your internet presence is a critical source of potential people to help launch your next campus. I saw this same dynamic when I was on staff in The Meeting House . . . we had a growing population of people listening to our podcasts online from a city 5 hours away . . . TMH built that group of “listeners” into a community and launched a campus.

So with all that being said . . . your internet leadership staff is critically important to the future of your multisite vision. Today – we’re talking with Lauren Vicari – our internet guru and video hostess with the mostess – about her role on the team.

RB – You’ve been leading on the web side of things here back to when we were still one location . . . what differences have you seen that being multisite has made in your work on our web site?

LV – When Liquid was one campus, each staff member had the ability to manage their own content on the website (without compromising the integrity of the site). This can no longer be the case as we move to a multi-site church. It is important to have one person managing the website to ensure a consistent means of communication (style, etc.). A big challenge for me has been to find solutions for the staff to communicate with volunteers, push web content out, etc. — without creating a bottleneck.

RB – What’s one simple tip that you would give you church leaders who are considering mulsite when it comes to their internet presence?

LV – From a technology standpoint, it’s important that “behind the scenes” maintenance remains simple. This is much easier said than done. You may quickly find that staff at one campus will prefer tool A over tool B — and the staff at another campus will prefer tool B over tool A. Choose one tool, stick with it and create a system to roll it out to subsequent campuses (yes, always plan for more campuses!). This will minimize the amount of support and more importantly, the chance for error on your end!

What place does your internet presence play in your multisite strategy? Is that reflected in your staff spending? Lauren is a key leader within Liquid and I am so thankful to have her helping us move forward on this critically important area!


Make sure to stop back on Friday . . . I have one other staff member that I want to introduce you to . . . someone who we literally couldn’t do multisite without.

6 Comments

  1. Rich,

    Wow bro, another post right on target! As a church adds campuses, the challenge of communication becomes exponentially greater. What is the message we are delivering to the public? Is it consistent across all campuses? The internet is quickly becoming the primary tool to communicate, so it that stresses the importance of having a single point of control over that medium.

    Lauren has the right mentality because one of the most common problem/frustrations with a single point of control is “bottleneck syndrome”. She seems to be keenly aware of it’s potential, which is key.

    Thanks bro for the good word!

  2. Rich…great post and intriguing. Two questions:

    – What percentage of your traffic is on your mobile site v. main site?
    – What is the most accessed content on your sites? (why do people come back?)

    Thanks!

    Carey

  3. Carey . . . two quick answers . . .

    1) Our current mobile site kinda stinks. Our new version (that we’re rolling out asap) is much better – closer to what we need. We currently get single digit percentages of our traffic to the mobile side. However . . . the next 2billion people to join the internet world are going to be mobile. It’s a “future proofing” feature for us.

    2) People use our site for message downloads and to sign up for stuff. The messages are the lions share of the traffic. The next category (a long shot #2) is sign ups for groups, teams, etc.

    What about you guys?

  4. Rich,

    Am I to gather from the post that you have essentially combined the “internet pastor” role with a form of a “Director of Commication” role?

  5. Hey Willy!

    Lauren is our tech guru behind our internet initiatives . . . we then have a guy named Dave Adamson who a part of his role is to be the Church Online Pastor. For us . . . the web presence is more of a central communications function than an off shoot of Church Online. Does that make sense?

  6. Rich,

    Definitely makes sense, thanks for the response. I am wondering how/if that position would coordinate with a Communications role that is overseeing all communication aspects of the church, i.e. announcements, printed materials, marketing, etc.

    Do you have that position as part of the Liquid staff? If so, how do they coordinate messages?

    Willy

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