Ur Video: Stetzer & Hirsch on Multi-Site
Is the multi-site movement ultimately helping or hindering God's mission?

Key ideas:

Stetzer–Is multi-site being used to give great communicators a larger audience, or is it being used to raise up more communicators?

Stetzer–Multi-site isn't a big phenomenon in post-Christian settings. It's much more popular among Christians willing to come to church and watch a pastor on a screen.

Hirsch–Any model that makes the people of God more passive is a problem.

October 01, 2009

Displaying 1–10 of 11 comments

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December 13, 2012  4:05am

Awesome video and interesting information and attractive. Yes, the blog is very interesting and I really like.

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April 29, 2011  12:48am

Awesome video and interesting information and attractive. Yes, the blog is very interesting and I really like.

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October 02, 2009  6:35pm

@ J There really isn't much to assume in any pulpit/pew oriented gathering whether the talker is live or video. It's all predictable. It's a system that has been around for centuries. This nuance or that changes little. The Holy Spirit could make a big difference in one building or another but He seems not to. The percentage of perpetual dependency results are huge across the country. Are we to be encouraged because we see more in one building than the next and say there is a key difference? I think not. The problem is not live or video. The problem is one-way communication, no reproductivity by the expert, and monolithic expression in a gathering designed by God as a participative organism.

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October 01, 2009  11:14pm

@wayne i think that's great. there's another post on here just recently that explored the value of multi-site. it just makes sense on so many levels.

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October 01, 2009  11:12pm

i've said this before (probably on this blog too)... i don't know how really "new and innovative" multi-site really is. it just seems to me that it's the evangelical twist on the diocese/parish model. i think the "innovative factor" really isn't anything more than just yet another example of evangelicalism's ignorance of history. all that being said, i think multi-site is great if it's decidedly NOT a video venue driven talking head. rather, a shared leadership structure that allows each site to reflect and engage the particularities of their setting seems to avoid the problems some are worried about.

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Wayne Park

October 01, 2009  11:09pm

what about multi-sites that are not video venues but rather one church meeting in several locations in the incarnational attempt to meet in the neighborhoods of commuting congregants?

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October 01, 2009  5:18pm

The issue is what the church is creating: doers or passive attenders. If "making disciples" means people who sit there while a preacher preaches, that's a problem whether it's a church plant of 25 people or a multi-site megachurch. I appreciate what both Ed and Al are saying.

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Ed Stetzer

October 01, 2009  4:28pm

Helpful response, J. And, thanks for noticing the nuance. If you are doing multi-site (or house, or traditional, or Reformed, or seeker) you need to be thinking critically. I know some doing multi-site, recognizing the challenges, and working hard to overcome them. And, I know some others... ;-) Thanks, Ed

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October 01, 2009  2:56pm

My only comment is this. Very seldom have I heard this topic (multi-site, video venue, or whatever) discussed or elaborated on without a good deal of assumption injected into it. My point is just to say to be VERRRRY careful about talking through any objection to a multi-site or video message model while speaking in generalities. You really cant do that with any amount of confidence since every church (or set of church campuses) is different. To me, even to discuss the use of video message or running a church of multiple campuses as a "model" is too dangerous...as Ed begins to allude to...because not everyone does it the same way. The reality is that any church (big, small, multi, mini, singular, or mega) can be smack in the middle of God's mission or wildly outside of it. There are a LOT of issues that I'd evaluate before whether their 40 minutes of Sunday message is on a screen or if they meet in more than one place. For example, it seems overly confident to say that this model makes God's people "passive." Any church can do that ... (as Ed brings up!) These are the assumptions that bug me. To me, it seems that a multi-site church get generalized a lot as places that are out to promote the fame of a pastor, suppress the gifts of those that arent that pastor, carry a high value in "the consumer brand," and are bad stewards. You cant assume that. I just think you can have any of that mess in ANY church. I don't think that a multi-site church is any more susceptible than the rest of churches. It is a little like saying that all blue cars get bad gas mileage. Are they capable of it? Sure. Can it be assumed that they all get bad gas mileage because they are blue? Hardly. As a pastor in a multi-site church that runs our Sunday message on a video 2/3 of the time (thus the reason that I'm not speaking from assumption about OUR way of doing multi-site, video venue), I can say that I dont think I've been a part of an organization more in the heart of missional, efficient, effective ministry to reach, keep, and disciple people for Christ. I see much more fruit here than in the single-site, never-video church of my past. If you looked around this place, you'd see how MUCH more experience, leadership development, and ministry opportunities that we all have, all week long, because of our model...and because we've maximized the gifts of a great communicator on Sunday mornings via video. (Also, our "rock-star, celebrity pastor" took the entire summer off from preaching so that he could work with younger, less experienced communicators so they could do the Sunday messages and develop.) ;) My two cents.

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almost an M

October 01, 2009  1:40pm

Yes to Stetzer's: "If you're not questioning multi-site, you're not thinking." Yes to Stetzer's: "Setting up movie theaters to project the graven-image of rock-star, celebrity pastors across the United States has some long-term implications." Yes to Hirsch's: "[In U.S. church, the most...under-explored, the undervalued resource is the people of God themselves. I think that any methodology, any tool, which we develop that undermines...you would understand how the devil has played us off...that we have made the vast majority of Christians passiving thinking...." Yes to: The Upstream Collective.

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