Five Questions for Multi-Site Churches

Thursday is for Preaching

Multi-site Church Venue SignI want to do a bit of non-technical research on what is happening beyond my experience with our campuses related to what is happening in my circle of friends and their multi-site churches. Here are five simple questions related to preaching and recording of messages for alternative sites.

  1. What day of the week do you tape the message for your satellite sites? 
    • Friday evening?
    • Saturday evening?
    • Sunday morning?
    • Other?
      • When? (day and time)
  2. Is the audience a live service or a studio audience?
  3. Do any of your campuses live-stream the message?
  4. Do any of your campuses get the message on a delay?
    • One week
    • More than a week
  5. Do you “capture” the message as is or is there some post-production involved before it is “ready” for other sites?


Bonus question:
What is the percentage of live teaching versus video teaching at additional sites?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

6 thoughts on “Five Questions for Multi-Site Churches

  1. Thanks for asking these questions Marty. Here is what we are doing at Liberty Bible Church-LaPorte..

    What day of the week do you tape the message for your satellite sites?
    Sunday morning. We record our 8am sermon in Chesterton and upload and download to LaPorte for our 9:30 and 11:00 service. Feel free to call our Tech Director Dave Thompson at our Chesterton Campus about what service and equpment we are using.
    Is the audience a live service or a studio audience? The audience are those in the service at 8am in Chesterton.

    Do any of your campuses live-stream the message? No. It’s all tape delayed but only by about an hour. Most people that I’ve talked to see the tension of having to do it “live” would not allow the local site to be who they need to be. I don’t think I’d like it. Tape delay is fine.
    Do any of your campuses get the message on a delay? No, it’s from that same morning. I wouldn’t want delayed, it helps to feel like “One Church in Two Locations”. If it was delayed it would make our Sermon Based Groups a challenge as we have some groups that have people from LaPorte but that worship in Chesterton.

    Do you “capture” the message as is or is there some post-production involved before it is “ready” for other sites? We have a tech team in Chesterton that edit it a bit with powerpoint before uploading or copying it. But very little.

    Bonus question:
    What is the percentage of live teaching versus video teaching at additional sites? We have been totally video for the 4 1/2 years of our LaPorte. We are having discussions about integating some “live” teaching. I’m going to preach live once per month this summer. My impression as I know and interact with many multisite pastors, that more are using live preaching. I think the video format has keep us from growing in LaPorte, it’s harder for new people to connect to. But it has also GREATLY allowed us to be externally focused as I’ve had the time to lead us out.


  2. Brought over from Facebook

    Dillon Evans
    I’m curious about coming to grips with #4 and the biblical model. Streaming services, especially ones with a week or more of delay feels very wrong to me. People need a pastor who can preach to their lives, help them grow as disciples. I know you to be…See More

    Marty Schoenleber Jr
    I hear you Dillon. These are informational questions only. No endorsement of anything going on. Just a simple resource-question to find out WHAT is happening? I will ask other questions down the road, like justification for, etc.

    Meredith ‘Schoenleber’ Aldrin
    Pauls letters were the technology of the day and we hold that they were spirit led. Why couldn’t a sermon that has been pre-recorded using modern recording technology also be spirit led? I’m sure Paul’s letters had quite a time delay. 😊

    Dave Rogers
    We record Saturday 5:00 pm in front of a live audience. We live stream inside the building but not offsite — mostly a bandwidth issue that might be fixed soon.

    The recording is used twice Sunday currently at one campus. An alternative service used th…See More

    Marty Schoenleber Jr
    Thanks Dave. Very helpful.

    Dave Rogers
    Dave Rogers Also when the sermon video is posted, there is potential for choosing which iteration was best. I have seen the confidence screen for the singers say something “Recording for website” but I suspect that I’m half the folks that saw it.


  3. Marty, my name is Jordan Gowing and I’m the campus pastor for CrossWinds Church in Iowa. (I believe you rub shoulders with Kurt Trucksess from time to time, my senior pastor). Mike passed this link on to me and a few others and asked us to take the time to answer your questions.

    If you would like any further info, feel free to drop me a line on Facebook.

    1. About 95% of our preaching is live at both sites. When we do video, the overwhelming majority is to have it recorded on Sunday morning at our earliest service (8:15). During the summer however, our adjusted service times do not allow for Sunday morning recording. In those rare cases, we have recorded on Thursday evenings (a few years ago I recorded on July 3rd, which was a Thursday evening and I’m pretty sure the recording picked up fireworks in the background!) or the occasional Saturday evening.

    2. If it is Sunday morning, it is live, otherwise it is an empty sanctuary.

    3. As mentioned above, most of our preaching is live at our sites, but when it is video, we try to alternate video from campus to campus.

    4. No. That said, we have considered a Saturday evening service, and if that were the case, we would likely have a week delay.

    5. In large part, the message is captured “as is.” The only post-production work done is to trim the service down to just the sermon and add a “fade in” and “fade out” to the video

    As mentioned, 90-95% live teaching vs. 5-10% video. When I was hired before our campus was launched (and so we didn’t have any expectations from the congregation), there was a 50+% chance that we were going to launch our second campus with video. Upon Kurt and the elders affirming my ability to teach, we opted for live teaching. We made that decision recognizing that it would be far easier starting video and transitioning to live than the reverse track.

    Hope this helps!


    1. Jordon,
      Thanks for the input brother. Tell Kurt I said hello and i appreciate his prayers and friendship. Do you and Kurt preach from the same text on the same week or are the different campuses more autonomous? If from the same text, how much do you study together?


      1. I will certainly do so. Kurt and I preach the same text each week. Over the past two years there have been only 1 or 2 times where we have taught on different texts, but before those rare exceptions, we have been in clear communication beforehand.

        As for time spent studying together, we have a standing meeting on Tuesday mornings to go through the text together. It’s about 30 minutes. Additionally, we are in communication throughout the week via text with various resources, ideas, etc.

        Hope that helps!


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