Orange Conference is one of my favorite times of year. Meeting up with old friends, learning about new ministry ideas and initiatives, and best of all, growing. I pick each break out with a specific purpose, and plan for how it will impact the Ministry.

Because my church is looking to launch multisite campuses, I thought it would be a good idea to sit through a session with Shawn Wood and Robbie Foreman called, “Making Portable Great”.

Most of my church experience has been in a portable church setting, but making it great has never been my outcome.

This session did not disappoint, I realized the difference between Good and Great are 3 realities and 3 myths that Shawn detailed very clearly.

The 3 realities are simple.  Although simple, they are still very true and help discover how great portable church can be.

  1. It’s mobile: Seems logical enough. Every decision from toy selection to carpet type, remember you are mobile. Once you establish that, it will allow you to pick wiser options that work with being mobile church.
  2. It can be a barrier: It’s hard to set up and tear down. It is hard to think about doing set up and tear down for all eternity, and it can be a barrier to do ministry. Not just in the physical space, it can take a mental toll as well.
  3. It’s Hard: No matter how successful your portable church has become; it will always be hard. The days are long and work can be tough. Its hard on the volunteers and hard on the staff, but that should not  mean you aren’t going to see growth in people and attendance.

If you keep those in mind, you will discover the change that need to be made is really simple and easy. It will help you grow your volunteer teams and work together as a staff to do portable church great. Shawn went one step further and laid out 3 myths of portable church.

  1. Can’t be creative: there are so many ways to make a mobile church look awesome and the one thing you can be with portable church is creative. From the signage to the website, the social media presence, it is a wide open word of creative possibilities.
  2. Can’t Grow: Buildings do not make you better. With healthy process and systems, it is possible to grow. Good systems are necessary for growth. With good systems and process, you can grow in portable church.
  3. A building would be easier: A building is tough, just a different type of tough. There is much greater pressure with a building. Just because you have walls, does not mean you wont have some issues and pressures, it just looks different.

Myths or reality of portable church, one thing remains, making the best of your situation no matter what your building looks like. Take pride in what you do and the things you have. Go the extra mile to thank volunteers, treat them well, and make sure they hear life stories. If they can hear how their work directly effects kingdom expansion, then you will help them understand the vision of why they do what they do. Maybe next year I’ll see you at Orange Conference and we can grow and learn together.