I have followed Bob Hyatt's blog for awhile now, and greatly admire the work he's done in planting a church in Portland. I think we'll probably use the Lent prayer guide he put together as an aid to a fruitful Lenten season at Christ Community.
Bob has an interesting post up (Franchise Ahoy!) about the idea and practice of video-venue churches, where "franchise" churches are planted in various cities with video sermons preached by a pastor in another location (often now another state). His post is about the possibility of Mars Hill planting a video church in Portland, piping in Mark Driscoll's preaching every Sunday, despite the fact that Mark's church-planting network (Acts 29) already has 2-4 churches in Portland that have been planted already.
Bob predicts that if it goes unchecked, this "franchise" mentality of church planting will eventually lead to the complete Wal-Martization of the church and the "death of preaching." I love the comment he made on a Facebook group dedicated to getting a Mars Hill video church in Portland:
Portland started by the Acts 29 network. A video church of Mark's
teaching is not only redundant (it's all vodcasted, right?) it's kind
of an insult to those who have worked hard to plant the churches that
this video venue would most likely draw people from.
who has planted and is planting churches in PDX, I can assure you- my
problem isn't thinking that there are too many churches in Portland.
I'm passionate about seeing as many real churches planted as possible.
But a franchised video church with elders who live in another state, 3
hours away? No- thank you."
What do you think? Video churches? The death of preaching, really? Begs the question of what a "church" is, too, don't you think?