July 21, 2016 | Pastor Steve Huffman

The multi-campus concept might be something you’re enthusiastic about or an idea brand new to you; it might be confusing, unusual or exciting. We are hoping that by answering some of your questions, you will be more comfortable engaging in the future direction of The Vineyard Church. 
If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please contact Steve Huffman, our Pastor of Campus Development, at .

Terminology to get us started:

  • Multi-Campus: A church that has more than one campus. 
  • Video Campus: A church location that has a Campus Leader, live worship, and a video message. The location can be onsite at Jackson Road or can be another location in the Michiana area. In October 2015, we opened the “South Door Campus” which is now the Chapel Venue, an onsite video campus here on Jackson Road. 
  • Video Venue: A church location that has a Campus Leader and live or video worship. Generally, this will be at another location and a smaller venue.


What exactly is a multi-campus church?
A multi-campus church is one church that uses video technology to meet in multiple locations. A multi-campus church shares a common vision, budget, doctrine, leadership and staff. 

Why would The Vineyard become a multi-campus church?
First and foremost, becoming a multi-campus church is about bringing people into an encounter with God. We want to better disciple more followers of Jesus by bringing the church closer to where people are located. It will allow us to be efficient in leadership and finances. Multi-campus will also give the church the opportunity to grow larger (in total numbers) and smaller (in more individual locations and experiences), presenting an opportunity for people to experience the benefits of both larger and smaller churches at once. Just as large universities create local campuses to reach more students, multi-campus churches create multiple locations to reach more people who need the hope of the Gospel. 

Will Mark Pope still be our Lead Pastor?
Yes, Mark Pope will be the Lead Pastor at all campuses and venues of The Vineyard Church.   

What are the advantages of a multi-campus church?
There are several advantages to becoming a multi-campus church.  Here are a few:

  • Reaching the Lost: By far, our biggest goal in creating a multi-campus church is that more people will come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Isaiah 54:2-3 says, “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams” (NLT). By God’s grace, our current location is “bursting at the seams”! God is blessing the ministry here at The Vineyard Church. By making room and spreading out, we trust and believe that more people will be added to God’s Kingdom. 
  • Manageability: By using a multi-campus approach, we can create a number of smaller communities, rather than one large community. Within these smaller communities, we are better able to care for people and help them connect with one another. 
  • Local Identity: By using a multi-campus approach, we can create a presence in a number of communities in Michiana, rather than just one concentrated space. Local campuses will allow people to worship near the same community where they live and invite their friends to worship with them. 
  • Stewardship: By sharing resources and leadership, multiple campuses can advance the Gospel in unity, but within the guidance of our current church. 

Why doesn’t The Vineyard just plant another church?
Planting another church, like the Northpoint Vineyard church plant in 2013, is still a strong focus as we look at the future. Church planting typically involves creating a new church with its own leadership, its own programs, and its own identity. A multi-campus church shares a centralized leadership team, a unified budget, and has many shared resources (including the weekend teaching). Our vision involves both planting new churches and adding new campuses to extend the walls to influence our world.

What is the motivation for using a multi-campus approach?
The motivation for using multi-campus ministry is twofold: to accommodate growth that is already happening and to reach into new communities more effectively. We want to add new locations in response to people who commute a long distance to attend The Vineyard. We also want to make sure we are able to accommodate future growth at every location.

Why does The Vineyard Church use video teaching?
We want people to have an opportunity to attend a Vineyard Celebration near their home, since it's more likely that friends and family will accept an invitation to attend a church located in their own community. Since everyone has the same teaching experience each weekend, people build their attendance patterns around the presence of God rather than who is teaching. Everyone across all locations will get the same weekend experience and can have follow-up discussions either individually or in Vineyard groups or classes—even if the Vineyard group is comprised of people from multiple locations. This also allows for uniformity and efficiency in communication of videos, print materials, online platforms, and social media. It is an important factor in truly being “one church”. 

How can a “video pastor” take care of a multi-campus church?
Healthy large churches have learned to depend on small group ministries and a team of pastors who are empowered and equipped to lead a portion of the flock. A church location that uses video teaching will always need on-site pastors or leaders to shepherd and lead the people.

Is it “biblical” to use video to deliver a sermon to a congregation?
While there are obviously no biblical examples of sermons delivered via video, we do know that while the Apostle Paul was far away, he wrote letters to lead, feed, correct, and guard the churches: “For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is” (Colossians 2:5). We believe we can effectively worship God in spirit and in truth on multiple campuses utilizing video technology. The video screen is simply a delivery system (like microphones, speakers, and other communication tools) that helps churches reach more people for Christ. It can put God’s Word within reach of people who can’t or won’t drive a long distance to attend church.

Is multi-campus just a fad?
Since this movement began in the mid 1990’s, over 8,000 churches have embraced this model and their number is growing daily. In 2014, an estimated 5 million people attended a multi-campus church on any given weekend across North America and it’s spreading internationally.