The One Man Ministry

There have been a number of posts within the past week on multi-site or video venue churches. Check out some posts with varying opinions and thoughts by Bob Hyatt, Brent Hodge, and Eugene Cho.

There are a number of multiple site churches across the country, and the number continues to grow. I think it would be fair to say that technology has allowed this to become the new “model” for growing local churches. It gets really expensive to build bigger and bigger buildings, so instead churches today just buy small venues in different parts of town and pump a video feed in there.

Generally speaking, a multiple site church has a different worship band and different campus pastor at each location. The one thing that is the same across all the sites is the speaker. Usually the speaker is recorded and played back or a live video feed is produced.

Before I say anything else, let me first say this: within a Biblical framework, I want Christians to be doing whatever is reaching people. That is my bottom line.

Now for some opinion:

I have my concerns with the multiple site churches. When I think of the more well known churches that are doing this I can immediately name off their senior pastor//the guy who is speaking most consistently. And I think that is a problem. It is has always been a problem for evangelical Christians. We love to put teaching pastors on pedestals.

It is far too common for churches to explode with growth due to having a dynamic leader and then fall a part when that leader gets older and then retires. Generally it doesn’t take too long for that church to disappear. And we are ok with this? I sure hope not.

If multiple site churches are going to live and die based on the ability of a teaching pastor to be dynamic enough to allow his/her teaching to reach through a video feed then I think we have missed the mark. The multiple site church model relies on the ministry of one man for its ultimate success. I know not everyone has the gift of teaching and clearly some men are extremely gifted teachers, but putting all the focus on them is not healthy for the pastor or the church.

What if…instead of putting up a video of the church’s teaching pastor at every location, the teaching pastor was involved and engaged in raising up other teachers and leaders to teach at the other church sites? That is the kind of church that is much less likely to wilt after the senior pastor moves on. It is also the kind of multiple site church that is the honoring the pastor who doesn’t need to be put in the spotlight all the time.

I know my opinion isn’t popular. I know this because more and more churches are going to this type of church structure.

I am really curious about what your thoughts are though.