video church

i have to admit that i am not a very big fan of the multi site church concept. it may just be my own personal bias but watching a video for church simply doesn’t work for me. i would love to see some research on these things. i truly wonder how effective they are. are they bringing people to CHRIST? or are they just bringing people from other churches? i have my thoughts but they are just my thoughts. does anyone know of any research that may have been done on how effective they are?

for my friends who are not familiar with church culture and therefore probably not used to the term “multi site church” what it means is a church that does a video feed to several other locations that have their own worship team that may or may not have a different flavor of doing things. the sermon comes from one site and is piped to all the others. these other locations are part of the base church and somewhere in the church’s tag line is almost always something like “one church many congregations.”

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4 Replies to “video church”

  1. Right now, we are going to one. Is that first hand experience enough for you?

    Our ministry is in the mountains of Peru, working with 37 churches that have adopted specific zones. There are other missionaries that work in Lima, where we live, but all have simple churches and the houses, small rooms where they meet can’t handle the influx of a whole family of Gringos joining in…so we have to pick a different church to go to.

    We go to our church for several reasons:

    1. Alisha has friends there.
    2. The have an option for an English service, which is nice to worship in our native language (but normally we go to the Spanish service.
    3. It is a SBC. The link is: http://www.flamingoroadchurch.com/
    4. The pastor is dynamic. He pushes our spiritual growth.
    5. We have a great worship experience with the live band
    6. It is the only air conditioned service in Peru!

    Downfalls:
    1. The Spanish service is translated. The guy who does it is Spot On. His emotions go hand in hand with pastor Troy, but it is still a translated voice, reminding me of the Wizard in his little booth off to the side in Oz.
    2. It is a video, taped service and doesn’t give you the dynamics that come from someone in front of you.
    3. The English service is overrun caters to foreigners.
    4. The Spanish service members and the English service members will likely never associate (some Americans living here have not and probably never will learn English).
    5. The sermon examples are very American. I relate, but most wouldn’t.
    6. Some concept get lost in translation, due to cultural differences.

    All said, the idea is not ideal, but works. People are getting saved, baptized, discipled, and are evangelizers themselves. Being the purpose of church, you have to call it a success.

    We already have a daughter church in Iquitos (on the Amazon) which is growing also.

    What I don’t like is that FRC makes no attempt to “do church” indigenously. Abraham Lincoln defined the indigenous church perfectly in the Gettysburg Address when he described the US government as Of the People, By the People, and For the People. That is not what we have here. It is of the US culture, by the US preacher, even though it is For Peruvians. What I’m saying is that Video church doesn’t give ownership. Even in a SBC church, where you would think that everyone is a “voting member” you don’t have the option if even knowing that business meetings exist (not that I really like them!). There is also a sense of “we need the gringo to come” when we talk of ministry. This is not a satellite church problem as much as it is a missionary church problem.

    To answer your question, our church is growing from adding lost that become saved, not from other churches. We had 30 baptisms this year between our service and the one in Iquitos. Check out youtube for a view at our beach baptism and our amazon baptism.

    One reason we go there is because we have Bible Study 3 times a week (in English) with our translator team. They are the ones who told us about it and as friends, we wanted to be around them, even at church.

  2. “one church many congregations.” Isn’t that what the Body of Christ is? I generally think if you can have a new congregation, you can start a new church. That’s what they did in the “old days.” And that’s church planting.

  3. I remember we did this once at Parkview back in the early 90’s when Charles Stanley came to do a revival. He was so popular (being a TV preacher) that everybody from the other Baptist churches wanted to come see him, so they ended up doing video feeds to the big screen in the gym and to TV’s in the cafeteria and in the assembly room and the choir room. I remember thinking it was the biggest joke because the people came to see a “celebrity” and not to worship or be spiritually renewed.

    This is done a little here in Brazil too. There is a church that has sites in many major cities and the pastor spends a sunday at each one, but sends a simulcast to the other churches. I think they don’t say in advance which one he’s going to be at, to keep the attendence up.

    To me this is when someone has become bigger than Jesus in the minds of some. It is the opposite of John the Baptist. I honestly can’t see any reason for this type of setup other than the notion that the charisma of a particular preacher is greater than the Holy Spirit.

  4. @arnold?: sorry it took so long for your comment to be visible. the number of links in it sent it my “awaiting moderation” cue and i missed it. thanks for the first hand report. i do wonder though, would you go to one of these churches as your home church if you were in the states?

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