If you’re German, it’s Wideo Wenue

If you don’t know by now, most Germans when speaking english substitute their “V” with a “W.” That explains the title.

Bob Hyatt has a great post regarding the possibility of a Mark Driscoll video venue church in Portland, OR:

Please understand- If you want to listen to Mark’s podcast/watch his vodcast, I think you should go for it- I subscribe to his podcast for crying out loud. But where we’re going with this is eventually a Mark Driscoll, Andy Stanley, Ed Young Jr, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, et al Video Franchise in every major city, the further Wal-Martization of the church and, I kid you not- the death of preaching.

Think that’s hyperbole?

Stay tuned.

First of all, Bob has a great blog and I had the chance to meet him face to face at the NPC last week. Bob has written extensively on the issue of video venue and I’m totally on board with his concerns. I see a very similar thing going on in the music business. Record labels are basically abandoning the development of young artist in order to focus all of their resources on their established, aging stars as the entire business nose dives into the shitter. The reason it’s gone this way is developing young artists takes time, money, and immense risk…..it’s hard. Why develop young talent when we have all this talent that’s already here waiting to be ridden into the sunset.

The problem is that there will be hardly any large scale acts that will help keep the business afloat and, in turn, help fund the development of younger artists. Granted, the problems with the music industry are many and are much more complicated than I’m hitting on here, but the point remains.

But I must admit the prospect of a Mark Driscoll video venue church coming to other major cities might give me the opportunity to try out the McKenzie brothers’ trick with the jar of moths. I’m torn.

**Update** Bob hits another post out of the park on this issue. Nice to see folks actually wrestling with the unintended consequences of how we use technology.


6 thoughts on “If you’re German, it’s Wideo Wenue

  1. Forgive my ignorance, but is this concern just now surfacing?

    Our church wants to pursue this avenue when we eventually grow larger, and it’s always made me feel uneasy. What a better way for the church to continue to distance itself from the people. And I’m not talking issues of size, but a lack of humanity relationship.

    This also brings up what Shane Hipps has pointed out, that technology, as helpful as it is in supporting ministry, can’t provide the real community that we desire to experience.

    Personally, my main argument against these type of satellite venues is that I’ve always felt that an independent church existing in any given community assumes responsibility of that community, and runs the race by attempting to provide and be the church as talked about in Acts. I’m not talking about demographics, but no two communities are alike, and what works in one, may not work in the other.

    I think it’s safe to say that the larger mega churches in America are thriving because they’re addressing the needs of THEIR community.


  2. This isn’t quite on the issue of “Video Venues” (which I think are shit and destroy any connection between a pastor and his ‘church’), but more a comment on what you said on the music industry. I don’t know if you watch Colbert, but he had the creator of kompoz.com on his show last week. Kompoz is an online collaborative site that enables musicians from all over the world to work together and create music in ways which were previously implausible.

    While the big labels are failing to actually act in a sustainable way, it’s opening up the door for new formats of musical collaboration and distribution to be formed. What we have here is an example of technology filling the gaps left open by the failure of the current system.

    I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on that.

  3. Matt,

    Thanks for the comment. I think the technological advancements have double edge sword. On one hand it has become increasingly easier for bands at any level to produce a fairly good sounding product. It’s great for bands who don’t have a lot of resources but it has also caused a literal flooding of the marketplace. The supply of music vastly outweighs the demand and as a result it makes sticking out in a sea of music all the more difficult.

    One way the major labels were useful is they served as a filter for the general public in choosing promising acts and developing their careers. Not that they were perfect, but useful. Now as the labels die out or give up developing new artists, there really isn’t a filter any more. There is just an ocean of bands to wade through in order to find the few that are really worth listening too.

    I think we are headed for a flattening of the music world. There won’t be the huge stars that we’ve had in the past, but much bigger pool of medium size acts. Whether this is better or not is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

  4. Zach,

    Thank you for this comment. It is becoming nearly impossible for new bands to be snatched up by major labels. I live in a college town were everyone and their mother seem to be making an album at any given time. The sheer volume is damaging and the truly good bands get swallowed up.

  5. I have mixed feelings about the video venue thing. I was asked to research this for a church a couple years ago, and I share many of the same concerns that have been brought up.
    But, let me play a little of devil’s advocate.

    Video venues are really rare in smaller churches. So, while I think there should be a closer connection with the pastor (although everyone may not agree), it’s not like Andy Stanley or whoever is able to be that connected with 15,000 people to begin with. Also, usually these guys are dynamite communicators, far better than your run of the mill pastor (which is part of the reason they’re churches are so large to begin with). When you are encountering people who claim they don’t go to church because they watch someone on television or download someone’s podcast having a great communicator even if it’s via video could be a positive thing.

    I think this conversation kind of tie’s in with the NPC post regarding the divide that was experienced. People having one conversation seem to be moving more and more toward business model franchising/video venues while those on the other side of the divide are moving toward greater intimacy, local authentic expression, and community.

  6. Oddly enough, one of the pastor’s at my church just yesterday talked about how in 1949 when China became a communist state, and all the missionaries got kicked out, something like half a million people were Christians in China. In the half a century after, with no “professionals” there, it grew to something like 80 million. So, with a church driven underground, it grew exponentially. I’m not saying these video things are bad, or in any way don’t have great intentions, but I just think they don’t have the right idea most of the time, and that it’s a one to one thing far more than it’s a one to thousands of people via satellites kind of thing.

    I agree with Jonathan’s view that someone watching the video is better than nothing, but I think so many people around here have replaced community with it. The long time Christians aren’t developing the one on one relationships and small communities where real change happens (and I’m 100% guilty of this myself). And believe me…I live in the belt buckle of the Bible Belt. We probably have more giant churches than we do Starbucks in Oklahoma City, but I’m not sure its translating into lives being changed.

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