Hope Community Church (Olmsted Falls) and Grace Church (Middleburg Heights) have been walking together since Grace planted Hope 4 years ago. Over the last several months, the Elder and Staff teams at each church have been in conversation about joining together to use “all possible means” to reach as many people as possible, and have decided to make it official! The two will become one church in two locations: a multisite church family.

These two families will be in their local communities, joined together in a common vision to know Jesus and make him known. We’d love for you to pray and partner with us as the journey continues!

What will a Grace Church Multisite look like?

Our desire has always been to see more and more people begin a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ: in their neighborhoods, and in the nations of the world. Leadership teams at both of our churches have been prayerfully discussing strategies to see this happen, and we believe the Lord can use the combined efforts of our church families to make us more effective in outreach within the communities where we live, go to school, and go to work.

The Benefit for Hope: Greater access to resources for ministry and growth that are not possible for a church of 350. The Hope family will be able to utilize the facility that God has entrusted to its fullest potential. This move positions Hope to benefit from the long years of high-integrity ministry that Grace Church has been known for in Northeast Ohio.

The Benefit for Grace: Allowing those who live west of Middleburg Heights to reach people in their own communities more effectively. Instead of being a part of a commuter church , having a location closer to home will allow more people to be part of a community church

Are multisites successful for church growth?

50/100 of the largest churches in the U.S. are using multisite strategy.
Of the 10 fastest growing churches in the country, nine are using multisite strategy.

Leadership Network and Portable Church released a research report last year that indicated multisite churches are growing faster and seeing for faith conversions than even church plants. – Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com

“Multisite churches grow faster, have more lay participation, and reach more new believers than single-site churches.” – Leadership Network, Generis Multisite Scorecard

“In 2014, an exhaustive cross-denominational study of multisite churches by Leadership Network concluded that there were 8,000 multisite churches across America… that was 5 years ago!” – multisitesolutions.com/8-statistics-for-multisite-leaders

When did this conversation begin?

From Hope’s perspective: For the last 18 months, our elder team has been discussing the challenges of long-term growth in their present context. While Hope is a growing, healthy church family, a lot of our human and financial resources are invested into caring for the facilities, instead of ministry and growth. We would need to grow significantly in order to steward the present building and grounds. All options were considered, including: selling the facility, increasing rental revenues, and asking God for a miracle.

From Grace’s perspective The Elders and executive team have been in ongoing conversations about managing our growing church family in a land-locked space. New urgency arose when we were informed major construction on Pearl Road will begin early in 2020. As options for navigating the months of constricted traffic ahead with our one entry/exit point, it became clear that we needed to take bold action: launch a new site or church. These practical realities opened the door to a conversation with Hope Church about partnering for missional impact.

What will remain the same?

At Grace Olmsted Falls, we will still be on-mission to represent Jesus to our community, welcoming people into His family. Our shared vision will be to “exalt Jesus Christ by making disciples who love Jesus, grow with others, and serve the world.” Our children’s and student ministries will still be led by on-site teams. We will continue to do outreach ministries (like ALPHA, and ESL), as well as participate in community events (the parade, and 5K). Sermon-based small groups will continue to be a place for growth and community. We will still have two Sunday morning service times, so those who serve during one hour can attend the other service.

What will change?

Those who attend Grace can attend either location and remain part of the same church. At Olmsted Falls this will mean live worship with the message delivered via livestream (just like our 10:30 AM Venue service). Those who attend both campuses will be invited to give toward the Olmsted location so that its full potential can be realized.

Those who attend Olmsted Falls will see Sunday services move into the auditorium this winter. At the Olmsted Falls location, the first part of the service will be live, led by Pastor Joel. The message portion of the service will be simulcast by video from the Middleburg Heights site. Pastor Jonathan will be the principle preacher, and Pastor Joel will be part of the preaching team. The worship experiences at each campus will be similar, but not photo-copies. Each service will reflect the culture and gifts of that site.

A unified leadership structure
One team of Elders (elected by all members of both sites) will oversee both locations. Pastor Jonathan Schaeffer will be the lead pastor. The Olmsted Falls location and staff team will be led by site pastor Joel Bubna. There will be a shared budget overseen by the Elder team.