Monday, April 14, 2008

Screen Them In

It is a revelation. It is efficient. It it technologically savvy. It is market sensitive. It works.

Screen them in.

Many churches fail because their pastors are not with-it, not informal enough, not funny enough, not big enough personalities. Some even have bad hair.

They are so, well...yesterday.

Screen them in.

But we all know pastors who are road-tested, the real deal, the high-octane. They command huge audiences each week. They stand before mega-congregations of adoring and money-giving people. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They sit comfortably on bar stools. They make us comfortable. They are positive. They never scold. They always smile. Their teeth are perfect. They are telegenic. And that hair-positively supernatural!

Screen them in!

We no longer need worry about training huge numbers of pastors--many of which will fail anyway, unable to win market share--to brave the hostile world of picky consumers.

Now we can screen them in--the superstars, the darlings of the stage, God's annointed. For every live performance of a sermon, there can be an infinite number of video presentations of that same sermon, anywhere in the world! Local worship leaders and coordinators can provide whatever local color is needed, but the sermon is always taken care of, always on target, a product you can trust.

Screen them in--or they will screen you out.

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danny wright said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Scott said...

Love it! Its true, funny, and sad all at the same time.

mark said...

I've got to disagree with your broad stroke here... Not all 'screened in' pastors are bad.... I would much rather watch/listen to John Piper at one of his multi-campus venues than hear a majority of other pastors preach live.

Furthermore, some of these factors have caused technological advances that serve as a tremendous ministry resource and encouragement to those of us serving overseas...

It's the content that is important... many so called 'screened in' pastors are faithful to the gospel.

Doug Groothuis said...

I used extremes for the parody, but I reject all multi-site services.

We need people in place, on the spot, eye-to-eye. That cannot be exchanged. The shepherd needs to be with the sheep. There is no remote control shepherding.

Piper is a good preacher, to be sure; but he needs to train other preachers for congregations.

mark said...

I see what you are saying, but I don't necessarily think the preacher also has to be the primary face-to-face shepherd. Most churches with more than 200 people have associate pastors to handle their face-to-face shepherding... I know that Piper uses associate pastors on site at each of his campuses for such purposes (as do the other multi-site pastors I respect). These pastors do have a public face each week to welcome people and let them know that they are there for them and their pastoral needs.

I know you hate that technological medium, but I don't think it always means a compromise of the gospel. In fact, with excellent teachers (such as piper), I think more people are reached for Christ as a result.

+pt said...

In Classic Sacramental Church, one enters through a long nave and progresses to the focus of the church - the Eucharist. Then, during reformation, Classic Evangelical Church shifts its focus from sacrament to sermon and centers around the pulpit. After that comes the Modern Communal church which put its emphasis on the act of gathering people together in community, even the liturgy becomes secondary. Finaly, in emerging churches today, all of our focus is neither the cross, nor the pastor, but the two screens.