A Critique Of David Fitch
This is a post where I want to work out my own thoughts on what it means for a church to go multisite and use video teaching. I am far from an expert on these matters and in full disclosure, I have only attended a video-venue church once, I have never worked at a video-venue church, or a church larger than 650 people, and I am currently working out how our church will do multisite... and some of it will most likely be video.
With those biases out of the way, I'd like to formulate my own thoughts in response to David Fitch's post on "How the multi-site video venue works against mission."
One of the things I appreciate about Mr. Fitch's work is that he is intelligent enough to realize that medium affects the message - especially when one of the main tenants of the faith we proclaim is emmanuel, God with us, and that that incarnational truth is played out as we teach scripture; we model the incarnation through our presence in the midst of the church. I actually wish that some people who are a lot smarter than I would unpack Marshal McLuhan's the medium is the message in an ecclesiological light.
David Fitch defines "missional church" as:
"the church mobilized for incarnational ministry occupying the place of Christ's humble servant presence in a locale whereby we live an entire way of life that witnesses to the salvation of God birthed in the person and work of Jesus Christ."
A little wordy, but generally I agree and think that it touches on some great things:
Where I find fault with Mr. Fitch's article is the assumptions and conclusions he makes as a result of his definition...
Let's start with point number one: In the missional context - preaching is always local
Point number two: In the Missional Context Preaching Always Demands a Response
Point number three: In the Missional Context Preaching is Always Better When we Know the Person.
Ultimately my biggest beef with Mr. Fitch's article is the disproportionate weight given to the importance of the preacher at the expense of the role of the larger community of believers. Missional preaching IS very important and needed however, I think that the role of the smaller gathering of believers (small groups, missional communities, house churches, et al.) is KEY is a church community being incarnational in their community. They spur each other on, hold members accountable, get to practice the gifts of teaching, prophecy, hospitality, grace, etc., and can be done with the aid of video teaching.
I believe that there is a lot of good in David's article, but the polarizing of video vs. live without giving weight to the possibilities that there may be both/and situations in churches is not helpful to the discussion of video teaching.
What have I missed? Think I judged too harshly? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.