Friday, May 19, 2006


When technology trumps ecclesiology, it is one more sign that Neil Postman is right: we are living in a Technopoly. Read about the arrival of technochurch.

HT: Slice of Laodicea


Cary Loughman said...


The "h" of "http" seems to be missing in your link, causing it to not work.

On the topic, does Andy do weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs? Think of the possibilities. He could be performing hundreds of events simultaneously. He could simply read the wedding vows and not insert the names where it tells the minister to "insert bride/groom's name here." Or he could do a rendering of the 23rd Psalm for funerals. The bonus package would include "death, where is thy victory?" track.

Tom said...


Thanks. I fixed the link. Who knows all of the possibilities?

Tony said...

Is not the bigger issue that the question needs to be asked, is the video pastor so indispensable that only he can deliver God's word. While I would not be comfortable watching the video, video/tape delayed prayer seems sort of weird to me, that does not make it sinful. The problem is to ask why this needs to be done. If we are to be raising up men to lead then they need to be raised up to preach and thus at these satellite churches they can do the preaching. Simply because the culture likes something does not mean it has to be used. Where does it all stop? Man centered preaching led by man centered preachers leads to man centered living.

Tony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
slmayes said...

Could I leave a laptop in my seat and just send an image of myself instead of actually physically attending? If they can "godcast" can I "bodcast"?

SavedandSure said...

All those afflicted with diseases producing SLEEP DEPRIVATION rejoice that they can worship and listen to the wonderful Word of God without fighting to stay awake especially during a lot of dull, ill-prepared talks sometimes called sermons.

It is very disturbing to others and embarrassing to those so afflicted to try but many of us persevere and intend to endure to the end - of the boring lectures.

Proverb 17:22

Tom said...

"Bodcasting!" Great line! Maybe we could just write some scripts and have our computers worship in our place--one preaching, another reading Scripture, another praying, and the rest saying "Amen," or, rather, "Dude!" at appropriate times.

Spurgeon said that some preachers force their hearers to break the Sabbath by making them work so hard to get anything of value out of the sermon.

David & Rose Ann said...

Take your pick on any number of disturbing comments from the article.

For one: “This is part of the new ecclesiastical world order where niche marketing ... is the name of the game, and the standard model where everybody gets dressed up and goes down to the ... church for 11 o'clock service is not the model anymore," says Mark Silk, director of the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life in Hartford, Conn.

Once again, folks are forgetting the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a product to be sold.

Also, I think 40 years of media saturation has demonstrated how short-lived visual media is. It is neither sustainable nor digestible. We forget about it moments after consuming it, and it does not satisfy us. As a result, it can never be a substitute for face-to-face personal contact. The energies in a community are generated by interpersonal relationships. When we disengage ourselves from the people around us, we begin to disengage with ourselves. We no longer have a context for understanding who we are or what our purpose in existence is, let alone our relationship to God.

Nathan White said...

Ah yes, this has become quite the witnessing tool around town. It's actually been around a while now, and those who attend the church are quick to identify their pastor as being this popular.

Mike Woodward said...

This particular group has satellites (strategic partnerships) as far away as Detroit.

Keith said...

This church was started in 1996.

You can also tithe using your VISA or PayPal account. Five locations in Oklahoma; one in Texas; one in Arizona.

Byroniac said...

Dr. Ascol (or anyone):

Pardon me, but I have to ask a dumb question. What is HT? (Re: HT: Slice of Laodicea, on this post).

Jack Maddox said...

I recently read an article on AS in Christianity Today in which he was interviewed. SCARY STUFF!

If this guy represents the future of local church ministry then guys like me or in BIG TROUBLE! :)

Jack Maddox said...

did I say 'or in big trouble'

see, it is already starting said...


It means, "Hat Tip."

Byroniac said...


Thanks! (It's not obvious to me; perhaps I haven't been around here long enough).

Larry said...

This smacks of a personality cult. Northpoint could not find one single person qualified to be the pastor of this new 'church'?

Jamison said...

Disclaimer: I'm entirely sympathetic to the Founders' world - reformed baptist and all that. But a question of consistency: Piper is a hero of reformed Baptist faith, but doesn't Bethlehem Baptist use videocasting &/or tape delay to support its satellite campus?

I've been interested/concerned about satellite campuses and videocasting for some time now, especially since the church I currently attend uses it and intends to spread across the nation and perhaps internationally in this manner. I don't personally care for it - I think it's a bad idea for all the reasons that have been stated here and in other places around the web: there's no connection between pastor and congregation, it's impersonal, it overemphasizes the importance of the preacher as a personality, and it "gentrifies" the local church. Sort of the "WalMart-ization" of evangelicalism, if you will.

That said, I'm more likely to put up with videocasting and satellite campuses if it's a pastor whose theology I agree with and whose personality and ministry I respsect. I'm a hypocrite, then, and I don't like it. And yes, I attend the service where the preacher is on stage in the flesh, not in bits and bytes. I wish we didn't videocast at all, but the story of how I landed in my church is a story for another time and another blog post!!!

So back to my original question - doesn't Piper use this stuff? And is it OK for him and BBC or should they be called to account as well, even though I (and most here, no doubt) respect him and appreciate his ministry? If I'm wrong on this point, forgive me, but the question is still a good one, I think: Should ANY church use this technology for expansion of their ministry, or is the "old" model of church-planting the right way to do things? Or put another way, is there a right way to use it? Just curious what other reform-minded folks think on a deeper, less reactionary level.

(and keep up the good work, Tom and others - I've discovered a whole new world through Founders,, StrangeBaptistFire, etc. Thanks all!)

Jeff Jones said...

Totally unrelated - there's a new face in the SBC presidential "race":

Name is Frank Page of South Carolina. I noticed he wrote a book called "Trouble with the Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism."

That aside, he seems to be stressing a difference in methodology from Dr. Floyd.


G. Burch said...


Ten dollars to hear you speak at a breakfast? What's up with that? There's a guy (who will remain anonymous at this time) who is going to be in the room next to you wrestle his deacons in a cage match then give the spirtual application for only 8.99. I'm going to that one Tom!

jbuchanan said...

See what happens once you let theater style seating into the churches.

Seriously, though, this just does not seem to fit into the Biblical model of planting new churches and appointing elders to oversee them.

fred said...

jbuchanan said,

"See what happens once you let theater style seating into the churches".

Thanks for the laugh.

Mark said...

I do not support this, even if Piper does it. And if he does, he should stop, the outlying "churches' should appoint pastors and grow in a healthy manner.

I attended church last night. (shock? where else should I have been?) My church was baptizing about 10 people. I attend a mega church for now. The pastor did not know the people. He read their names off a tab on their shoulders. We have 10000 members, about 3000 in attendance, 6 pastors and about 30 deacons. The staff is impersonal to most of the audience. We baptise hundreds every year, but our growth is measured in the 10's. When I started attending 6 years ago, we averaged 2700. We have gained about 300 in that time. Baptized about 2000.

Church is already too impersonal and disconnected. This can not help. Too many pastors are entertainers already.