When we launched our first onsite campus in November 2015 one of the areas that we were incredibly cautious about is when we use the campus name versus when we use the full church name. Our strategy was “one church many locations”, which is a popular multi-campus philosophy. The trick is when do you use the campus name instead of the entire church name. It sounds silly, but if done incorrectly it can drive community affiliation too much toward the campus and away from the parent. For example, if your church’s name was “Patmos” and you had a campus that you called “Northbound” how does your greeting team greet people at the front door? Do they say “welcome to Northbound” or “Welcome to Patmos”? In your announcements do you say “Hello Northbounders, or welcome to Patmos church”?
Here is where we settled:
At our front door we always welcome with the church name and not the campus name. If we are one church multiple locations, you want new people to know immediately that you are one church.
At the doors to our auditoriums, inside the building, we never use the campus name or church name, we use a generic good morning or good afternoon. This alleviates any confusion for people after just coming in the door.
In the announcements the campus leader welcomes everyone using the campus name AND the church name. Something like “Hi I’m Steve Huffman the campus pastor for Northbound here at Patmos church”. You need to acknowledge and affirm the community that you are building in the campuses, while acknowledging that you are part of one church.
For any offering or financial giving, always reference the church and not the campus. In our announcements for the offering we state “We don’t pass a plate here at Patmos church, but giving back is a way to worship Jesus….”.
Phones messages and email signatures always had both the church and campus name in them. “Thanks for calling Patmos Northbound Campus…”
It’s a delicate and important balance on how and when to use campus names versus full church names in a multi-site church.