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my opinion on video venues

I have posted a couple things recently by different guys but I wanted to put in my own two cents on the subject of video venues and mega-churches (whom I include here because vide venues seem to be the route that many large churches are headed).

On one level I have no problem with big churches or video venues. I think that the existence of both offer tremendous opportunities for the spread of the Gospel and the edification of the already convinced. Large churches have the budgets to start and fund many ministry initiatives that smaller churches cannot do. This is important because when small churches feel like they have to do many things, they often get off mission and end up doing nothing well. Small churches should find the one or two things they can do well and they should camp there in excellence until God moves them forward.

I think video venues are good too. It is wrong for Christians to bash pastors who have a large following based on their speaking ability. Jesus himself said that some people are given different talents and they are expected to exercise those talents in the measure they have been given them. No teacher should have to apologize for having too many people listen. Remember Jesus teaching 5,000 people on a hill, sounds like a mega-church gathering to me (plus that number likely only accounts for the men in the crowd and not the large number of women and children in attendance as well). It is also clear from many of the NT epistles that Paul and other NT teachers had distinct followings. The problem is when preachers and/or people make the messenger more valued and loved than the message. Jesus was willing to lose large numbers of of followers in order to preserve the truth. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for fighting about who was a better preacher (Paul or Peter or Apollos or Christ), rather than clinging to the cross.

Video venues open up multiple other opportunities for followers of Jesus to discover and exercise their spiritual gifts. Opening another campus means the need for tech people, music people, admin people, prayer people, greeting people, ushering people, etc. expands greatly. Video campuses are like church plants in that they make the church present and alive in a specific community, instead of making the people come to another city. I think that churches with ongoing, functioning, multiple campuses - who use video for teaching purposes - is much more effective than simply putting up a video once a week and then retreating back to the home base the rest of the week.

One of the concerns I have for video venues is that they could potentially limit the development of other teachers. However, I think this can be remedied by churches creating other teaching venues outside the weekend gathering. Secondly, I believe that everything should be done in excellence and so the weekend stage may not be the best place to develop a teaching gift anyway.

There's a few thoughts anyway...
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