Church planting is the most effective way to share the Good News of Jesus with people all around the world. But did you know that planting a church isn’t always starting something from nothing? Starting church campuses is also a great way to plant new churches – and that’s why we love multisite churches! The following post was written by the lead pastor of a church who understands the value multisite church planting. Point Church has 10 campuses across North Carolina and is geared up to plant many more in the upcoming years. Multisite churches are church plants, and we need more church plants, all around the world!
A God-Sized Dream
At Point Church, we believe God has given us a unique vision to point every man, woman and child to Jesus by planting churches in the Raleigh-Durham area. It is definitely a God sized dream that only God can fulfill and in the process we hope He will get all of the glory! Since our start in 2010, we have grown from one Point Church to fifteen Point Churches, reaching 1500 people in multiple languages weekly. The amazing thing is that we believe Jesus is just getting started building His church among us.
My life is devoted to seeing the maximum amount of people know Jesus in my lifetime and I believe multiplying local churches is the best way to achieve that dream. This dream is the reason I planted Point Church, write a blog, help lead a church planting movement and coach pastors/planters who want to multiply their impact.
One of the biggest obstacles to church planting in our region, is the myth of church oversaturation in the “Bible Belt”. I often get asked the question, “Does North Carolina really need another church? And with dozens and dozens of nearly empty church buildings dotting our city, why would we plant a new church rather than try to help struggling older churches?”
The truth is, research shows that America is at a record low number of churches per person and our existing churches are less effective than ever before at helping people place their faith in Jesus. The population of the United States is currently growing eight times faster than we are planting new churches. You can read here on the blog where I walked through recent research on why church planting is not only an effective solution for evangelism, but it is necessary.
In the “Bible Belt” region, the myth of church oversaturation is just that – a myth. New churches can repopulate our towns with passionate followers of Jesus who effectively reach their friends and neighbors with the good news of Jesus!
A second challenging reality is that while there has been a recent explosion of church planting in the United States over the last twenty years, two things threaten to slow down these church planting trends:
- A lack of available locations for new churches to hold worship services
- The high cost to rent these spaces
Where I live in North Carolina, every Middle or High School in our county (Wake County) has a church plant meeting in it. In addition, many public schools and communities are becoming increasingly hostile towards churches renting community buildings.
These challenging circumstances create a context for unique opportunities for church planting in our region. The great need for church plants has brought several church planters into partnership to resource and encourage each other, believing we are truly better together. In 2016 I partnered with Donnie Williams of Lifepointe Church to found the Carolina Movement Network, an organization that provides support, resources and strategies to church planting efforts in the state. We pray to see revival break out in North Carolina in a way that is bigger than any individual church could ever do alone.
In our region, we are also seeing revitalization, mergers and church planting come together for kingdom growth. The new reality is that many new churches are people rich and facility poor, while at the same time, many established churches are facility rich and people poor. Many of these established churches are at the end of their life cycle and face closure. Our prayer is to see these kinds of mergers, church planting and revitalizations be repeated across America. Our prayer is to see our experience become normative for the sake of the Kingdom. Not only do I believe it is possible, we have experienced it multiple times. You can read here on the blog where we shared 8 common factors we have experienced in our region of revitalization success.
We believe that, through this model, we can keep thousands of churches from dying and simultaneously accelerate Kingdom expansion.
As we prepare to celebrate ten years of Point Church in 2020, I reflect on how far God has brought us and the work He is doing in our region. In 2010, we stepped out in faith to follow a God sized vision that was and is impossible to accomplish alone and even impossible to accomplish without some serious divine intervention.
Today, at 15 churches, we have taken huge steps towards our God sized vision of pointing every man, woman and child in the Raleigh-Durham area to Jesus in our generation. In addition to partnering with church planting organizations around the world in the Dominican Republic, India and Central Asia, we are seeing God reach the world right here in our backyard. The Point Espanol Network includes four churches that provide weekly services and ministries in Spanish, while the Point International Network includes churches in Korean, Urdu, Kenyarawandan, and one with English preaching and live translation into Swahili.
As we enter year 10 and we focus on “Who’s Your One,” we desire to see each person who calls Point Church home take ownership for the mission of Jesus in their own life. Our dream is to see every follower of Jesus get the privilege of baptizing someone they helped to lead to Christ. At our annual Vision Day service in October, we shared the testimony of how God used ONE person at a time to change the lives of an entire family. Mike Poole prayed for two years for his niece Tracey to know the Lord. While Mike prayed for Tracey, Tracey was praying for her sister, Mary. What Tracey did not know, was that Mary was also praying for the rest of her family. And on April 21, Mike baptized five members of his family! Since October, we have celebrated baptisms every week at Point Church!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Hello, I’m Chris Hankins! I am a follower of Jesus, husband, dad, and the founding/lead pastor of The Point Church in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. My life is devoted to seeing the maximum amount of people know Jesus in my lifetime and I believe multiplying local churches is the best way to achieve that dream.
I went to NC State University, where I quickly switched my major from Engineering to Interpersonal Communications. I also began serving on staff as a Student Minister at a rural church at only 19 years old (I still cannot believe they hired me). I served there throughout the rest of my time in college.
Immediately after college graduation, I enrolled in Southeastern Seminary and began working at a local megachurch as their Middle School Student Pastor. We had 3 weekend worship services with 300+ students, 20+ small groups, and 50+ adult leaders. At the time, I thought I would be in student ministry forever. However, I soon realized God was preparing me to plant and lead a new church.
Finally, my wife and I took the leap. I started a one year church planting residency at an amazing church called Lifepointe Church in Raleigh under the leadership of one of my mentors, Donnie Williams.
In September 2010, Point Church held our very first services at Mission Valley Movie Theater across the street from NC State University.
Our vision is to plant 30 churches in the Raleigh-Durham area by 2025 so that every man, woman, and child here can be pointed to Jesus. It is definitely a God sized dream that only God can fulfill and in the process we hope He will get all of the glory!