This post is NOT to make the argument that a church with a local leader and a distant video teaching pastor is a viable church model. Let’s save that debate for a future post. I think there’s a more all-inclusive discussion.
Maybe you have quietly disapproved of the proliferation of video churches around the country. Perhaps it has not been so quiet. You have argued a distant video pastor cannot know the needs of the local body and therefore cannot effectively be their preacher. I understand your argument. I don’t agree; however, that’s a topic for another day.
Your disapproval of that kind of video church (the distant teaching pastor model) may have blinded you to the importance of developing a video prowess in your church. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Video isn’t inherently evil. Your church can greatly benefit from it. Here are several ways:
- Multi-site growth - If you’re the typical growing church, you already have or will soon max out your current site and are probably dreaming of all kinds of ways to acquire adjacent land in order to grow. You have blinders on. What if you could buy 10-20 acres 10 minutes away and use video to establish a growth path for your church with a second campus? If you’ll drop the paradigm of a single-leader, single-site, single-communicator church, then you’d be amazed at your options
- You no longer have to acquire every available piece of adjacent land. You can simply grow in other locations.
- You can consider sites that appear finite and cannot be added to. North Point built Buckhead Church which has a 3000-seat auditorium on 2.4 acres of land. There is NO ability to expand. No problem. We can build another campus which cannibalizes Buckhead and adds seats in both locations. (See this post).
- Current content needs – There are a number of ways video can be extremely useful to you today:
- Image mag (or iMag) – If your auditorium is big enough to warrant iMag screens, you absolutely should use them. Malcom Gladwell spent a chapter in his book Blink talking about how much information is conveyed in facial expressions. I am always amazed when people laugh at themselves realizing that they look at iMag screens instead of a live speaker even when they are sitting on the 5th row. They’re not stupid. They do it because their brain subconsciously tells them there is more information available on the screens. See what Seth Godin says about iMag here.
- Internet streaming – Not many people actually make all 4 parts of your 4-part series. In fact, most don’t. Yes, you can provide audio CD’s, MP3′s and a podcast. But you should also provide streaming video.
- Small groups content – If you’re growing, you have done content 1 year ago that many of your people have never heard. Our small group wants to do marriage content and next month will do a video series Andy Stanley did 2 or 3 years ago on marriage called iMarriage. Of the 6 couples in our group, only 2 were there when he did the series. We were 1 of those 2 and we missed 1 of the 3 messages.
- Future content needs – North Point built a video prowess mainly to accomplish iMag. Then, the ideas of multi-site, groups content and internet streaming emerged. Video prowess enabled us to consider alternatives we could not have otherwise considered. What are the future needs for this content? Who knows, but there are some interesting ideas out there already.
- Internet campuses – Life Church does this well. Take a look.
- Television – This medium has all but been destroyed by bad examples of televangelists through the years. But does it always have to be this way? What if it were done with excellence and relevance?
- You Tube – your streaming video can now be placed on anyone’s website. Both scary and powerful.
Embrace video and do it as soon as possible. It will be the entrance ramp to opportunities you have never considered.