REACH: A Multi-Campus Vision For Glen Ellyn Bible Church

The REACH Vision:

In November 2021, the Elders cast a Multi-Campus Ministry vision for GEBC, one church meeting in multiple locations to REACH more people with the Gospel in DuPage County. We believe God has answered our prayers as we adopted Poplar Creek Church as our first campus.

FAQ'S About the REACH Vision:What is multi-campus?

Multi-campus means that one church is meeting in multiple locations. Typically campuses are between 15-20 minutes apart.

How does multi-campus work?

Each campus has the same:

  • Mission - “Helping People Follow Jesus”
  • Philosophy of Ministry - the Disciple-Making Target (Proclaim, Restore, Equip, Send)
  • Theology - GEBC’s Statement of Faith
  • Budget - all campuses will be self-sustaining, and all money will go into a common fund.
  • Board - each campus will have a leadership team, one Elder board will govern all campuses
  • Staff - each campus will have dedicated staff, all staff will be employees of GEBC
  • Preaching Focus - each campus will have a preacher, all sermons will focus on the same passage
  • Administrative Offices - accounting, banking, human resources and IT will be centralized.

Why multi-campus?

Multi-campus is a proven disciple-making strategy! New Campuses…

  • reach more people
  • overcome geographical barriers
  • existing strengths
  • mobilzes volunteers (79% of multi-campus churches report an increase in leadership development)
  • expands outreach, while maintaining intimacy 

What makes a church a good candidate for multi-campus ministry?

  • Financially Stable - proven track record of generosity 
  • Strong Leadership  - both paid and volunteer
  • Solid Infrastructure - scalable “systems” that can support growth 
  • Mature and Growing staff - a deep bench in multiple areas
  • Ready Congregants - a deep bench of potential leaders 
  • Replicable “DNA”  - A disciple-making culture that can be reproduced

Why is GEBC a good candidate for multi-campus ministry?

Beyond meeting all the requirements for a successful candidate for multi-campus GEBC is ready because: 

  • We believe going is essential to disciple-making 
  • We have physical barriers to making more disciples at 501 Hillside 
  • We believe God has called us to increase our disciple making footprint
  • We have staff, lay leaders and congregants ready to do more  
  • We have the financial resources to fund this effort
  • We have a replicable DNA

What is GEBC’s replicable DNA?

  • Settled Theology 
  • Proven Philosophy of Ministry - The Disciple-Making “Target”  
  • Experienced Leadership 
  • Strong Sunday morning worship experience 
  • Demonstrated growth in giving 
  • Locally impactful compassion ministry (Care Center)
  • Multi-generational worship and programming
  • Healthy, growing and vibrant children’s and youth ministry
  • Organizational systems and structures
  • Dependence upon the Holy Spirit in prayer

Are we putting at risk the good things happening at 501 Hillside by expanding?

  • Most churches experience an enhanced fruitfulness as a result of multi-campus ministry.
  • We expect phased and strategic growth and will give attention to quality control over the next few years in order to ensure continued disciple-making strengths at 501 Hillside.
  • Our attention to launching other campuses will not diminish the ministry, but will rather strengthen our strengths as we are increasingly called to rely upon God for his strength. 

Adopting our first campus: Poplar Creek Church (PCC):

In February 2023, we adpoted PCC as our first campus. They were a smaller and struggling church and through adoption we brought them into the GEBC family. We are helping to revitalize and rebuild the ministry happening on Schick Rd. in Bartlett. Revitalizing stands on the work and positive legacy of former PCC generations and mobilizes GEBC to reach others with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

How did GEBC come to consider adopting PCC as a possible campus?

In April 2021, the Elders of GEBC affirmed the vision for multi-campus ministry (i.e., becoming one church meeting in multiple locations). Toward this end, we began advertising for a campus pastor, and during that process PCC approached us about becoming a campus in November 2021. The leadership of PCC and GEBC met together many times in order to discuss, plan and prayer together for God’s leading. The leadership at both churches felt confident adoption was a wise next step. 

What is PCC’s history? 

Founded in 1991, PCC is located in Bartlett on nine acres of land and currently has about 60-80 in attendance weekly. Located in an incredibly diverse and unchurched area, PCC is surrounded by 200,000 people in just a five mile radius. 


Why do the Elders of GEBC believe this is a good option?

The Elders of GEBC believed that adopting PCC would expand its disciple-making opportunities, as well as increase the potential for multi-ethnic ministry, and preserve a historic Christian witness in Bartlett. We believe that as one church, we can help turn around the disciple-making effort in Bartlett.

Do we have professionals helping us with the process of adoption? 

Yes, GEBC has consulted with Jim Tomberlin the best and most well known expert in multi-campus ministry. We are following the adoption process he has established and covers in his book "Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work"