Bob Hyatt on Video Venue

Bob Hyatt, a pastor of a church in Portland, wrote a piece for the Out of Ur blog regarding the use of video venue. Here’s the tasty bit:

I know, a lot of people love your preaching and want to hear it. Let them get saved and discipled at your community, or spend a season there, and then point them to your pod/vodcast, sending them as missionaries to reach their local communities. But don’t say, “Well, people just want to hear me, so we must make a way for everyone to either sit in one room and watch me or my video representation.” That simply makes no sense when we’re talking about maturing Christ followers who will live self-sacrificially in communities centered on Jesus, not a preaching personality.

One of the main justifications for video venues is that upwards of 70 percent of church plants fail. Giving people a “brand name,” proven communicator makes more sense. But do church plants fail because of the planter? Or is it because of unreasonable expectations, unsustainable “big launch” methods in which thousands of dollars are pumped into new churches in an effort to make them big, fast… because of the consumer mindset of many who look at the big churches down the street with not a small amount of envy?

Ultimately, video venues strike me as a poor compromise. They may be necessary at times, but are certainly not a strategy to be pursued, even alongside traditional church plants. They focus entirely too much on the preaching gifts of one person, a trend even we small “emerging” types need to counter.

The celebrity church must die. And doing anything—like video venues—that prolongs its life, even in the name of the lost, runs counter to the best interests of the Church in all its expressions, big and small, and its mandate to see more people not only reached, but gifted, trained, and sent.

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3 thoughts on “Bob Hyatt on Video Venue

  1. Hey Zach, Have you read “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola and George Barna? It’s an eye opening read on how fundamentally(I kind of cringe when I use that word in connection with spiritual matters) off course we are in how we “do” church.

  2. “They focus entirely too much on the preaching gifts of one person, a trend even we small “emerging” types need to counter.”

    Excellent point. There is irony in the fact that once emergent churches put to work what they believe passionately about it often overlaps with the things they are trying not to be. I know lots of people that go to a well known “emergent” church and they only go when a certain person is preaching. So 1. They are neglecting their community and 2. promoting the “attraction” model in a church that is trying to avoid it. In many ways its an uncontrollable cycle if you ask me. My dad did similar stuff when I was a kid, you know doing stuff more organically but then needing to rely on some structure…and then the structure builds.

    Oh and I don’t like satellite services either.

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