Pastor Ben Cachiaras of Mountain Christian Church in Harford County talks about its recent success. (Bryna Zumer/The Aegis)

A map of Harford County dotted with red flags filled the projection screen above the altar at Mountain Christian Church.

Each flag was a campus, a "small group," an event or just a worshiper's home – the many ways Mountain made its presence felt in the community, Pastor Ben Cachiaras said.

The map grew, and soon most of Harford was covered with clusters of red flags.

"You see how we are growing and spreading, and becoming lights in the universe?" Cachiaras told his audience of about 1,100, during the last of three services Sunday morning.

The universe of Mountain Christian Church, one of Harford's largest churches, seems destined to continue expanding.

The church has come a long way since it launched in the early 1800s in a log cabin.

With a school and a new service at The John Carroll School under its belt, Luke Erickson, director of community impact, will also be starting a community center in an Edgewood strip mall, to be called The Epicenter at Edgewood.

But as Cachiaras told his congregation Sunday, the growth comes with a mission and responsibility.

"Are you going to do the Kingdom or are you going to decide, here it is and leave it there?" he challenged them as he stood in front of the map covered in red Mountain "outposts."

Size clearly does matter at the church, where parking attendants swiftly direct traffic flow onto Route 152 between each service.

Inside the New Life Center, ushers direct and coordinate the flow of hundreds of people in and out of different entrances to the cavernous sanctuary.

Sitting in a corner office on Sunday afternoon, Cachiaras was also eager to explain the church's growth in the language of a corporation.

"The easiest way to explain the multi-site concept of church is to think of it like a franchise, where we simply reproduce all that we are in another 'branch' location," he said. "So we're now a church that gathers in two locations, and after the Edgewood campus launch, we will be a church that gathers in three locations."

The ministry staff is equally aggressive about keeping things casual.

Everyone seems to be on a one-name basis. Cachiaras, the senior pastor, is "Ben" and Erickson goes by "Luke." The church is called just "Mountain."

Cachiaras is going on his 16th year as Mountain's head, and he has overseen much of its growth.

He said the emphasis remains on the small, with "small groups" and intimate relationships.

The church's "sending capacity" is far more important than its seating capacity, he said with a smile.

Sending out Mountain emissaries and growing its campuses is a way of sharing its blessings.

"We really feel like we are blessed. We feel blessed as a people, and so this is why we just want to be a blessing," he said.