Welcome to "godcasting," in which churches use video and iPod technology to create virtual sermons that range from amateur to Emmy-award quality. Then, the "godcasts" are delivered to adherents gathered anywhere - from a grocery store converted to an auditorium to a local movie theater.
"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.
For some churches in the US, godcasting is a powerful, fairly inexpensive tool to draw in the under-30 crowd, who are comfortable with technology. But showing an image instead of presenting a real person can alienate some older churchgoers, experts say. The trend also raises questions about pastoral accountability, and whether this new model fits the biblical concept of a local church.
No kidding. This trend also misunderstands preaching as well. Preaching is more than just imparting information (or inspiration). A preacher is communicating God's Word to the congregation. This requires live contact; "there is a two-sidedness" to it. I pray that God will give us pastors that will not forsake their main responsibility--proclaiming the Word to the people of God.