For more than a decade, Resonate Church has been growing strategically in its mission to bring Christian teaching to college students. Coffee-shop Bible discussions near Washington State University drew crowds, which led to a permanent campus location, which drew larger crowds, including University of Idaho students, which led to a church planting at that university. And that growth has never slowed, in fact, it’s sped up in recent years.
“Resonate has always had the multiplication mindset where one collegiate church would plant another and so on,” explains Jordan Nelson, Director of Operations, “Now we’re beginning an exponential growth stage, where we hope to plant 21 churches in college towns by 2021.”
Smart collegiate church planting requires a systematic approach.
Running any fast-growing organization requires the right systems and technologies. Which is why Resonate’s in-house network staff has built an infrastructure that gives its collegiate churches autonomy as well as support.
The staff manages accounting and graphic design for all network churches, for example. They also distribute video sermons, enabling their pastors to have consistent teaching across an increasing number of churches.
How can you collaborate effectively with hundreds of team members spread across hundreds of miles?
As Jordan explains, the network staff also manages the technology infrastructure for the local churches, and the diverse locations of these teams presented a tricky communications challenge.
“We have staff members, pastors, and volunteers spread across several college towns in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon,” he says. “Many of these people, particularly our volunteers and local pastors, spend their days not at a desk, but out on campus helping people and growing the organization. For a while, we got by using email, text messages, and a mixture of task-management tools. But with so many people on the team, that just became too burdensome.”