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Why VideoTeaching.com is the Next Big Church Model

Kent Shaffer —  July 22, 2009

VideoTeaching.com

Yesterday LifeChurch.tv’s Digerati team officially launched VideoTeaching.com. Consequently, the world may never be the same.

Much like the One Prayer initiative, VideoTeaching.com allows churches to hear guest speakers via free sermon video downloads. The idea behind it is that churches can have a free resource to expand their teaching team, give the pastor occasional breaks, share the load with church planters and bi-vocational pastors, and even serve as an interim “pastor” during a leadership transition.

VIDEO TEACHING AS A CHURCH MODEL
But reality is the scope of how VideoTeaching.com can be used is far deeper and versatile. In fact, a church could use video sermons all the time. Many churches have likely not been planted because the church planter believes he is not eloquent enough, theologically deep enough, or seminary certified to preach. However, when free video sermons from some of the world’s best preachers are available, obviously this excuse is gone.

4 Possible Video Teaching Church Models

  1. Central Organization
    Similar to a multi-site church, this model has central leadership that oversees all locations and determines video teaching content that is the same for all campuses. Locations could either be planted by the central organization like most multi-site church campuses or passionate followers could start a location similar to LifeChurch.tv’s Church Online watch parties.
  2. Central Admin
    Similar to a denomination, this model has central leadership that oversees all locations administratively, but a campus pastor or elders determine the Video Sermon content for each location based on what that congregation’s spiritual needs are. For example, a New England location may struggle with greed while a location in Oklahoma may struggle with gluttony. While all sermon topics are important, this model allows for each campus to focus on what is most important to their spiritual walk.
  3. Central Distributor
    Similar to a standard church, this model has a central distributor of sermon content such as VideoTeaching.com, but each church is independent, self-governing, and determines its own video teaching content.
  4. Extra Church
    Similar to Sunday school and small groups, this model uses video teaching as extra doses of “church” in addition to weekend church services.

WHY CONSIDER VIDEO TEACHING?
Church conferences, authors, and blogs have been rallying for years for the Church to be like the early Church. We talk about organic explosive church growth that produces authentic disciples, but then we do little to change our methods. If we hardly change how we do church, then we can hardly expect to revolutionize the results we get.

So why don’t we change how we do church? I think it is because we are scared. We are scared of failing, and we are scared of doing something theologically wrong. Christians are notorious for boycotting anything new, including church organs and church choirs when they were first introduced. This is not to say that we should all jump on the Video Teaching band wagon like a bunch of lemmings. But I think we should ask questions.

Thinking rationally and theologically, why or why shouldn’t churches pursue the Video Teaching model of church?

I will be addressing some questions about video teaching in the weeks to come, including:

  • What size should a video teaching church be?
  • How can video teaching churches be kept spiritually accountable?
  • How does the video medium affect the message?
  • What about the development of future preachers?
  • What are the advantages of video teaching versus one or a few preachers?
  • What about video teaching children’s ministry?
  • Will video teaching create more celebrity pastors?
  • What does a multi-site video teaching house gigachurch look like?

For Discussion:
- Share your thoughts about video teaching in the comments and join in the unraveling discussion in the weeks to come.