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North Point Ministries

Posted by on May 15, 2013

On Monday afternoon we had a conversation with Bill Willits, Bob Strickland and Joel Thomas of North Point Church about their multi site structure.

North Point has an interesting matrix structure.  Bill leads North Point Ministries and Bob leads Campus Ministries.  Bill provides ministry coaches for all the core ministries at each campus and Bob leads the campus (church) Pastors.  Rick is the administrator, who oversees all support for things like finances, HR, IT, facilities, etc.  Together these three guys support all North Point churches.

Joel is the Campus Pastor at the North Point Campus.  Joel added great perspective to the discussion.

I had several take-aways from our conversation:

  1. North Point has fostered a very collaborative environment where innovation flourishes across churches and teams.  A church can provide consistency across campuses either with clear structure or strong collaboration.
  2. Centralization is common in larger multi site churches.  This ensures alignment, consistency and “frees up” the campus pastors to focus on their campus.  North Point accomplishes this centralization with campus teams, so the campus staff are part of the design and decision process.  This ensures the best innovations to reach all the campuses without extensive dedicated non-campus staff.
  3. Bob and Bill seem to spend a lot of time together, they attend each others staff meetings and talk over most major decisions.  A senior leadership team must remain in regular communication with one another to ensure alignment across all campuses.
  4. North Point reinforced that autonomy is not the best structure for a multi site church.  Flexible but collaborative and aligned is a much better description of North Point campuses.  This is good for efficiency and quality without being limiting to healthy leaders.

The NPM site has their leadership structure and matrixed org chart.

North Point may actually have more ministry consistency between campuses than Life Church.  Their core ministries (which are part of North Point Ministries) include their children’s ministry, youth ministry, group ministry, weekend services, missions, married life and singles ministries.  The main difference is that North Point accomplishes this centralization with teams of people from both the campuses and the central teams while Life Church has a more predominant central team structure.  Both are amazing churches making an incredible difference and being very successful with a multi site model that differs but works well in their culture.

Once we (Grace) decide on the model we want to use, we will still need to mold it around our culture.


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