Matt Chandler never wanted a big church. He envisioned himself leading a modest suburban congregation. But as the cliché proved true, God had other plans.
Since Chandler became senior pastor of The Village Church in 2002, it has planted five churches and launched six campuses across the Dallas area, drawing in over 10,000 worshipers a weekend. This fall, though, The Village Church announced plans for each campus to become its own church, as its Denton location did in 2015.
After years of growth expanded Chandler’s vision—and voice—across a wider swath of the Dallas Metroplex, the 43-year-old Southern Baptist will soon be able to focus back on his neck of the woods, Flower Mound.
Even as multisites send campuses off on their own (The Village and Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian as the most prominent recent examples), the movement lives on, strong as ever.
Multisite churches grow faster and plant more churches than their single-location counterparts, according to Leadership Network. The National Congregations Study indicated that 1 in 11 Protestant churchgoers now attend a multisite congregation. As the model has become more popular, it has drawn criticism within evangelicalism for promoting celebrity pastors, fostering competition for church size, and using video streams to build church “franchises.”
Chandler said that in the early years of his ministry at The Village, “I asked some questions about multisites that nobody could answer. Like, where does this end? Thirty years from now are there six teachers in evangelicalism? Is this healthy? Is this good? Can we develop leaders?”
The Village Church went from turning people away at each of its six services to shuttling sermon ...1