Bob Hyatt has been responding to the number of churches that are beginning to plant video venues – where the message from the mother church is either beamed in live via satellite, arrives via the net, or is “bicycled” (recorded to DVD and transported to the location). Bob takes a pretty strong stance against video venues. You can read his posts here, here and here.
One of my sons is an occasional attender of a video venue here in Toronto, and one of my nephews is involved with the worship team at another (the same “church”) – but I tend to agree with Bob.
The question to me is not how can we reach people- but how do we best connect them and care for them? I’m a firm believer in all things to all people that by all means we may reach some. But among all the models of church community avaliable, are some, in some way, better than others? Could a video venue church be at the bottom of the list? And might those we reach be better served in different kinds of communities?
One of the fallacies of this type of church is the belief that preaching from superstar pastors is critical to the growth of the church universal. Bob nails it in his latest post when he says,
I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to say it, but the celebrity church must die. And doing anything that prolongs its life (like video venues), even in the name of the lost, I believe, runs counter to the best interests of the Church in all its expressions, big and small, and all its hopes and dream to see more people not only reached, but gifted, trained and sent.