The Video Teaching Church Model Does Not Kill Community

To continue our discussion about why is the next big church model, let’s take a look at what the video teaching church model is not.

It is not sermons on TV.
It is not a sermon vodcast.
It is not online archived sermon videos.

These forms of “preaching” have no community aspect, but the video teaching church model has pastors and/or elders and fellow believers to help you grow and keep you accountable. A church model is more than just Christian content.

Obviously, some people might replace attending church with watching directly, but those same people may just as likely replace attending church with Christian television, podcasts, the Bible, a C.S. Lewis book, or even nothing at all.

We do need to cautiously ask questions before we dive into a new way of doing church. Video teaching is not for every church’s calling. To help us ask better questions, let us resolve one myth.

MYTH – Video teaching replaces human interaction.

Truth: The DNA of a church determines the quality of its community. While having an in-the-flesh preacher is one of hundreds of factors that can make a church more likely to have strong community, it is no guarantee.

Standard Church: Not every church with a live in-the-flesh preacher has good community. In fact, some preachers rarely interact with their congregations. And some preachers that do more harm than good when they interact with their congregation. Having an in-the-flesh preacher does guarantee a strong, healthy community. Unfortunately, some of the loneliest places are churches (particularly megachurches) without a culture of relationships.

Video Teaching: Just because a church uses video teaching does not mean that church can’t have incredibly relational pastors and elders that engage, counsel, and lead the congregation outside of teaching. A video teaching church is just as capable of a standard church in having good small groups and a culture of community.

Why is the Next Big Church Model

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

Much like the One Prayer initiative, 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.

But reality is the scope of how 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’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, 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.

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.