Over the past decade the impact of multi-site churches has continued to expand. Churches have various models and organizational charts to make these multi-site churches work. Student ministry can be a difficult ministry to multiple across campuses. There are different models and roles within a student ministry at different churches that describe themselves as multi-site. Whatever the model, or how the ministry is organized, student ministry across campuses have a few required elements in order to be successful. They must carry with them a united vision, their DNA should be the same, their should regularly held meetings to start informed and help one another out, responsibilities should be divided together and there should be a mentality of one church in multiple locations.
There must unity, throughout the campuses, in the vision of the student ministry. Like a tree that may have different branches yet shares the same roots. The values that drive the ministry, the model that is being used and yearly goals should be all tied together across campuses. When the positions, whether paid or voluntary, at multiple campuses are not united, conflict always will arise. There will be confusion on what to do and how to do it. Meeting regularly helps to create this unity. You build relationships with other people on staff but also can work together to build the ministry. You get to trouble shoot with one another about issues that are arising.
A big thing is to make sure to delegate responsibilities. Have the student representatives of each campus do something each week. Whether it is building curriculum, planning outreach events or summer trips. Divide up the tasks by grade level or by personal strengths. It isn’t fair for one person to do all the work and the others just to sit back and reap rewards from another persons planning and hard work. This can be tricky with people who are volunteers or part-time student positions. It may take some conversations that clarify expectations and responsbilities too. However, when all people are able to to see their work at hand, there is more ownership over the ministry and therefore more success.
The student ministry must think “one church, multiple locations.” This may be the easiest to say and the hardest to implement. One church in multiple locations includes the idea of a united vision and the delegation of work. It is no less, and yet much more than that. Pray together for one anothers campuses and the success stories there. Be open handed with leaders and students that may be easier and a better fit at another campus. Create events that are inclusive to everyone and find a way to make all students feel as one community, not separate ones. Let one another speak at events, lead games or worship. Work together to build up a generation of students.
Multi-site churches can be tricky to navigate in student ministry. No matter the model you are using it is helpful to be united, share responsibilities and think as a team. Those things allow for success across the board.