FAQ’s on our New Campus Launches

I had a great conversation today with a friend who was asking me questions about how our campus launches will work.  I was quickly reminded that while some of us live in the world of these details every day, a lot of people don’t.  Maybe you too are full of these curiosities.  If so, enjoy!

Will there be video teaching at the new campuses?

Yes.  The Highland campus will function just like Hobart where we use video-teaching about 37 weeks/year and the campus pastor preaches the other 15 weeks.  In Walkerton, the split will be closer to half and half for reasons I’ll describe below.

Why Walkerton instead of in South Bend?

There are a few different factors to this.  The most important one is a sense of calling and following God’s leading.  But even part of discovering that came through a series of closed doors while we were looking for meeting space in South Bend itself while opportunities opened landed in our lap in Walkerton, which is a smaller community outside of South Bend.  In the end, it has been a great fit for our unique and experimental approach to this campus, while holding to the vision of being regional instead of local.

Do you need help?

I would NEVER answer that question “no”.  We need your prayers.  Many are in a season of fasting again for the launches.  We need your generosity to continue to the Jesus Mission.  Suncrest has been very faithful to that!  Our team in Highland is well-staffed with a launch team coming from both the St. John and Hobart campuses.  With Walkerton building from scratch, we could use some man-power to help them have a great launch.  Like I mentioned Sunday at St. John, let us know if you would go over to serve in Children’s Ministry sometime during the 1st two months of launch.

What Facilities will they meet in?

Both new campuses will be in Elementary Schools.  Highland Christian School and Walkerton Elementary School.

How are Walkerton and Highland launches different from each other?

There are probably two major ways.  The first is financial.  Highland is funded much like most multi-site launches around the country.  Walkerton’s budget is less than half of Highland’s.  And I always want to clarify…this is by design.  One thing our leadership is interested in is innovation.  We are curious…and willing to experiment if a campus can be launched in a different way than what is happening everywhere else.  Lower “overhead” cost, lower facility cost, lower (almost none) cost for initial marketing. More relational.  Andy Kaser has embraced this vision and innovation and is leading in some awesome ways through it.  Because of this, we know we will launch smaller, but also hope to take root and build quickly.

Obviously, the other difference is distance.

Highland’s proximity makes it easier to share resources and send people. That provides manpower and also creates the Suncrest Culture pretty naturally.  Walkerton is almost 90 minutes from St. John and outside “Da Region”.  In a lot of ways, that makes us start much more from scratch like a brand new church plant, but they still benefit from systems, resources, and momentum that Suncrest has.  This distance is also the reason for having the campus pastor teach a little more frequently.

Are all the campuses the same?

Yes and no.  We are ONE church so unity is essential in (1) our Mission, (2) our approach to Discipleship – the 4C’s, (3) our Culture and Values, and (4) our Theology.  And we do have one elder team, function with one budget, and collaborate as one staff.  But the campuses are in different communities and have different strengths in their leadership teams so they are not cookie-cutter.

Are the campuses designed to become a church of their own eventually?

No, not really.  We are truly one church just gathering in different geographic locations.  If we all discover after a few years that the distance and logistics are complicated enough that it would be best for a campus like Walkerton to just become it’s own church, we are always open to where God leads that, but it is not in the plan.  And there are other successful models out there that we are constantly learning from.

Where will the next campuses be?

I actually had someone ask me this and here was my response:  I LOVE the way you think…but I’m not ready to think about it quite yet! Actually, we know we have some internal structures and systems that will need a little time to develop with the shift from 2 campuses to 4.  So unless God does something unexpected, we’ll give our next season to making sure we are functioning within our value of excellence with the 4 campuses He has given us.

~ by Greg Lee on September 15, 2010.

One Response to “FAQ’s on our New Campus Launches”

  1. This is awesome Greg! Thanks for the update I am glad that this planning is going well and I know great leaders are heading this up. Know that you all are in my prayers, I just wish I could check out Walkerton myself! I will definitely check it out when I get home.

    Lots of Blessings

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