Look, outside of extremely rural areas and in mission regions that are largely unchurched, I don't believe people should drive thirty minutes to church either. I've written about this before (see links below). I firmly believe that part of the reason that so many people feel disconnected from their churches and their local communities is that they've separated the two from each other. There's a great communal value from living in the same community--the same neighborhood if possible--as your local church. In fact, I suggest that your church should be within five miles of where you live. Then you can go to church with your neighbors and have random points of contact with your fellow church members throughout the week. This helps create a feeling of community on multiple levels, not driving thirty miles in the hopes of creating community with a bunch of people you see only once a week.
As I've said here, planting churches is a good thing. But if we want to build community, if we want to impact our cities and neighborhoods for Christ, we must worship locally and we must minister and be ministered to locally. The video-pastored church--the video-driven church, if you will--is not the answer.
I had a conversation this past summer with an older mentor to me in ministry whom I've known for quite a long time. The context of our discussion was not this subject, but he said something that certainly applies. He told me, "What we need in our churches today are pastors who are good communicators--without the ego--and have good people skills. It's that simple." I agree. And further, I agree that these pastors need to preach in person, not via an impersonal video screen.
Labels: Christianity and Culture