The title of this post might make you think of a few different things. Some would ask the question “What does theology matter in issues of practicality?” Hopefully that’s not what you’re asking, as any church issue is a theological issue. That is because the church is the body of Christ and theology is the study of God, who we as Christians believe is Christ.
A more common question with multi-site is “Why call it the same church when its really two churches, one which is watching a video of a pastor preach instead of having a live pastor preach there?” (This is actually only one model of multi-site, but it’s the one my church is using, so I’m not addressing the others right now.) This is the question I really want to answer, as I struggled with it when I first discovered that was my church’s vision.
The church, as I said earlier, is the body of Christ. A local church is how this is practically lived out – believers within a common geographic context meeting together as a family. In my tradition (baptistic) there is the need to hear the teaching of God’s Word and the expression of the ordinances – baptism and the Lord’s Supper or Communion. Journey does all of those things as one body, making it one church with multiple services, one of which is in a different location that the other three.
To answer the complaint that each campus should have it’s own pastor – our’s do. The campus that watches the preaching on video still has a campus pastor there for all pastoral needs. He actually is better able to minister to his flock there, since he doesn’t need to spend time during the week prepping for a sermon. We also are able to share resources between campuses, since we are still one church. Anyone who’s ever planted a church knows how important it is to have resources. Well, we do.
I just barely touched the issues, so what are some other issues out there? Or things you’d like me to dive deeper into? Or disagreements you have with this? Feedback is a wonderful thing.