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Starbucks and Multi-site

John Moore over at Brandautopsy  has been posting on his experience while working for Starbucks.  While attending seminary in Dallas, I worked at a Starbucks and took several of their management classes because I wanted to learn how they produce leaders so fast…John had this post today which I have added to based on a multi-site church view….

Starbucks will not deny they are everywhere. But they are everywhere because customers want them to be everywhere. Otherwise, they wouldn’t’t be there. (Starbucks is smart like that.)

When a church is asking – should we go multi-site, I think that one of the first questions that should be asked is, "Are there people in a community near us that would want us there?"…this works for us at Seacoast Church by looking at our database to see where people are driving from.  If 300 families are driving from 45 minutes away – that is probably the "customer" saying we want a Seacoast Church campus closer to our home.

Starbucks works under the premise of being everywhere customers want them to be. According to internal research studies, customers would be more satisfied if they had a Starbucks more convenient to them. So Starbucks satisfies customers by opening more stores in more places to be more convenient to more people.

I think this is true in the church.  The only people that like large churches that are built in zoned areas for large buildings that are not close to peoples homes are Pastors.  So, with multi-site we can literally take people their church to their home…not to mention those that would love to attend, but will not because it is not a convenient location.

Starbucks Tribal Knowledge tells us if you stop competing on quirky and quaint and you must start competing on being convenient and consistent. For Starbucks, it has been a trade-off that satisfies more customers leading to greater sales success.

With multi-site it is very difficult to set your-self apart as the church with the most technology or even the "most excellent" – this is a trade-off of being highly mobile and smaller.  However, convenient and consistent can be a key. 

I would like to take a few posts to look at this…what do we need to be convenient and constant in at the campus level in a multi-site church?


Filed under: Seacoast Church/Multi-site

2 Responses

  1. Elle says:

    Loved your post today. We drive a long distance to get to a Seacoast campus. There aren’t 300 of us driving (yet!), but hopefully one day Seacoast will church plant out our way.

    There are so many unchurched people in our area who aren’t going to don a fancy suit or drive miles just to check out a church. We know many Christians who don’t fit into traditional churches who would like Seacoast. But since they are out of the habit of going to church and/or don’t have any hope left that they can find a church where they can find acceptance, they aren’t going to drive long distances either.

    We were a family who didn’t fit into the traditonal church scene. We weren’t from the local area, so we weren’t related to everyone. We wanted to do ministry and not just join a social club. After going to many bland churches where people didn’t seem very committed, we became a very discouraged family. We kept praying and wondered why we couldn’t find a church that wasn’t dead or wasn’t just a social club. What was wrong with us?! (Don’t answer that! LOL)

    None of us liked staying home on Sunday. We were tired of friends saying that we were too picky. That we should just bite the bullet and attend the local Baptist church and Discipleship Training classes. Been there, done that with less than satisfactory results.

    We decided that the Lord surely had a church in mind for us. We agreed that we would continue to visit churches, even if it meant a long drive. One day when we were far from home, we saw the sign for Seacoast. We checked it out. Been there serving the Lord ever since! A day doesn’t go by when we don’t thank the Lord for Seacoast. Looking for a church was like wandering in the desert for way too long. It made the joy of finding Seacoast like discovering the oasis!

    I am not overstating our joy. Seacoast is very important to our family, which is why we are totally committed to Seacoast’s multi-site campuses. (We recognize there are some negatives about multi-site campuses, but we think the impact of the negatives can be eliminated or at least lessened. Seacoast has so many creative people to find solutions! And no church is going to do everything perfectly. The positives waaaay out way the negatives. We believe one of the strengths of Seacoast is that we can admit what we do well and not-so-well.) We want to share what we have with other families, so I hope Seacoast continues to target different areas for new multi-site campuses!


  2. Matt Payne says:

    Great post!! I am in the process of planting a church in 2006 and we are looking at multi-site as our model of reproduction. I will be at the conference in Chicago so hopefully I can learn some stuff from you guys on how to do it (and not do it).

    I’m going to post this at my blog as it is a great example since we have a Starbucks every few feet in Oregon! 🙂

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