In yesterday's USA Today, the lead story on the front paper was "New Face of evangelism 1 Church, multiple sites". The writer goes one to cite several different new church leaders, and their current understand and 'take' on the 'new face' idea of having a central head church, and multiple other campuses. The main pastor would basically, only go to each church to preach, and thus be traveling the rest of Sunday to get to each location. This varies greatly from the traditional pastor who does all the counseling, preaching, fostering discipleship at one location.
Some churches have even set up a type of video-cast that the pastor would only need to preach in one central location, while the other congregations would only need to plug into the video feed and watch their pastor via a streaming download.
Now, as I thought about this, I wondered what the natural response would be for me. Is this really new? Would I like being the pastor traveling around all day? Would I want to sit and listen to a screen preaching to me? Does this draw the church together or separate it? I don't know.
I do know that this 'traveling preaching' is nothing new. George Whitfield did it all through America, thus creating the fertile ground for the Awakenings, of 1740's.
So here's my short take/or observations:
1. There are a handful of preachers that I would definitely would say could do something like this, Yet does this make an emphasis on the preacher or the message. John Piper, for instance, and incredible orator/preacher...but the expansion of his preaching ministry like this, could inhibit those who are in those various areas to take up the calling in their own life, and become preachers.
2. Does this create a 'superstar' mentality that I believe that all ministers already struggle with so greatly.
3. Yet again, some churches would be served by having quality preaching each week, even if it meant it came via internet/videofeed or whatever.
These are just three observations. I am just bringing it to the surface, because I read it, and was intrigued enough at the Shoppette to buy a paper.
Bottomline: How would you feel if your pastor was a traveling preacher? Would you feel this centralizes your church or do you feel this would be the vehicle that your church would reach more people, plant more churches, in your area? Always be about reforming your views, to what the Scripture teaches us. I am not convinced either way on this issue,... whether this is particularly good or bad,...
as long as Christ is preached, who gives a rip.