Coming Soon to a Theater Near You…

There’s an emerging trend among churches that has caught my attention lately. I guess it’s really just a natural progression of the mega-church trend, and in fact it is most often associated with mega-churches.

Many churches (over 1,000 according to what I’ve read) are becoming multi-site or multi-venue. This means simply that the one church will have services (often simultaneously) at many different locations throughout its area or even on different spots throughout the campus.

I guess that I’m not entirely sure what to think of this. There are a number of churches embracing this philosophy of ministry. Most notably (to me at least) are Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis (John Piper), Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, IL (James MacDonald), and Second Baptist in Houston (Ed Young). These are all churches that I have a fair amount of respect for. John Piper and James MacDonald are two of my spiritual heroes.

The idea is that there would be a live worship team leading congregational singing and a local pastoral team at each campus to address children’s and youth ministries, smalls groups and adult ministries. At some campuses and services, the preaching would be live and others would broadcast on high definition video. The current state of technology allows for this to be done fairly effectively.

I mention Second Baptist of Houston because they seem to have especially embraced this technology. They currently have three major campuses at owned facilities and will be opening several more around Houston in 2006. Their website mentions that they may further expand to other cities across the US and even into other countries.

I don’t know. It just sounds a little weird to me, maybe even a little bit creepy. And I want to make it clear that I’m not stating this as one who has an informed opinion, rather just an impression. I respect these ministries and would seriously consider attending any of the three churches I’ve mentioned if I lived in their area. I’m just not sure that I would want to start going to a branch they opened at the Century 14 multiplex down the street.

I’m interested to hear if any of you have opinions or impressions on this trend. Is it good or bad for the Church?

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