Orginally published on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 7:39 AM
by Todd Rhoades
Within the next three years, Saddleback Church aims to launch nine new off-site campuses in addition to its San Clemente campus, which meets every weekend at the local high school, and step up its global P.E.A.C.E. plan. By 2010, Saddleback hopes to see 10,000 more lives changed and baptized. That's just part of the plan recently released...
“One of the most important words in the Christian life [is] ‘go,’” said Rick Warren, founding and senior pastor of Saddleback, during his “Multiplying Our Impact” sermon series last month. “The Christian life is a journey and over and over again God says you are to go. We are not a passive faith; you are a ‘going’ faith.”
Thousands of Saddleback congregants and staff have been on the move to open a campus in Corona and Irvine late this year and early 2008. Two pastors have already been picked out of the Saddleback staff to lead the sites, which will have their own live worship music and video feed from the main Lake Forest campus. The campuses will host smaller congregations of 400 to 600 people.
Matt McGill, pastor of regional campuses for Saddleback, calls the expansion “decentralized congregations” rather than the popular term “multi-site” which more churches are venturing into.
“We clearly are looking at this strategy as one church meeting in decentralized locations to be most effective in reaching those communities for Christ,” said McGill.
“Our shift to a regional approach is not about making worship more convenient for our members or emptying seats from our Lake Forest campus,” he noted. “We’re making this shift to empower our people for evangelism and to reach new communities in the name of Jesus.”
The expansion, called the 10x10 vision, also includes 10,000 small groups in homes, work, school and on the Internet and 1 million personal invitations given out by church members.
Answering critics of the multi-site approach, which has become the next big thing for effective outreach, McGill said there will always be critics of any new methodology but methodologies must always change in order to be as effective as possible in the generation we live, he commented. But the message in the church, meanwhile, never changes.
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