multi site church?

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darinhouston
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Re: multi site church?

Post by darinhouston » Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:14 pm

Homer wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:05 pm
The multiple campus church smacks of someone who has an ego problem and/or a desire to control others.

On the other hand the ownership of a meeting place can facilitate the work of the kingdom. The church we attend has a modest assembly room and a few classrooms and also owns an old house adjoining the property where men in recovery ("Celebrate Recovery" program) can live for free. Also Celebrate Recovery uses the church facilities, led by church members.

Long ago when I had to travel for business, visit relatives in another state, or we were on vacation, it was good to be able, on Sunday, to find the location of a church (building) to assemble with the saints. Mennonite, Church of Christ, Baptist, Assembly of God, we always felt welcome. This would be difficult to do if there were only home churches. If not for church buildings, where would the stranger know to go?

Dwight, I sympathize with much of what you wrote but it is difficult to know whether the early Christians could have had dedicated places to assemble while under the tremendous persecution of the time. It seems this is true of Christians today in China, for example. And Paul seems to have headed to the synagogue wherever he went.
When I read this topic I thought I had written it - perhaps I have posted a similar question or just wanted to. I used to go to a very large megachurch (which was a megachurch before it was a multi-site church). I belong to a multi-site church now - my present church is no mega church, but it has two small campuses in a very large town. It made sense for many who moved out to suburban areas to build a campus near them so they wouldn't have to drive so far and so their kids could grow up in a neighborhood youth group. The problem isn't the fragmentation of the church - I think that's how things should happen - form and adapt around communities.

The main problem I have is hinted at by Homer. I don't know it's always "ego" or desire to control in all cases since sometimes it's financial efficiency, flexibility and convenience and sharing of corporate structures to avoid duplication, and so forth, but there is a sense in all cases I think that a common pastor or pastoral staff or even just "mission" is so important a satellite church needs to be under their care and guidance. This is very worldly to my mind, though I can see even in some cases where this too could simply be efficiency - a single pastor could easily serve two congregations if teaching and pastoral care is not a full time job.

But, I also have been thinking in many ways this is merely a denomination within a denomination (or even a denomination within a non-denominational church). Nothing more, nothing less - not that it's a good thing or bad thing as such, but I do think that's essentially what a multi-site church is from a practical perspective.

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dwight92070
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Re: multi site church?

Post by dwight92070 » Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:53 am

Now we have another HUGE issue. Sunday school. This is not a Biblical concept. It's simply the church imitating the secular world by separating the children from the parents, and then further separating them into age groups. Sunday school forces the demand for volunteers or additional paid workers to teach ALL the different classes created by it. There are several problems here. Many Sunday school "teachers" don't know the Bible well and many are not gifted teachers at all, especially not teachers of the Bible. So the Sunday school essentially becomes a daycare center, so the parents can be free from distractions during church. Meanwhile, the kids learn that real church is boring, and apparently their parents agree, so they send them to a place where they can have "fun" with other kids their own age.

Did you know that the idea of Sunday school started in the 1800's, possibly the late 1700's? Attending public schools became the law in the 1800's as well.
What did Christian parents and families do before that? (The following suggestions work BEST in a home church setting, but they can potentially take place in a traditional church building as well) They taught their kids to sit quietly with them, while the whole family listened to a genuinely gifted Bible teacher. If their pastor was not gifted in teaching the Bible, then they would go to a different church where they could all hear the teaching together. But the children can't understand the pastor, you might say. So what, they ARE learning to sit quietly with their parents, even though they may have little interest in what is being said. THAT lesson is invaluable. Also, they WILL pick up some things that the pastor says. This should also "force" the pastor, if he is sensitive to the needs of both the adults AND the kids, to speak in terms that can be easily understood. But what is the babies are crying, or the toddlers are throwing tantrums? Crying babies can be taken to another room, either by the mother, father, or older sibling until they settle down. The mother, father, or older sibling should stay with them until that happens. There is NO need to solicit nursery workers - the parents should be responsible for their own kids. There may be some exceptions to that, but generally a full time "nursery worker" is a Christian who cannot be a part of the church assembly, over long periods of time. They will lack spiritual growth, if all they do in the church assembly is babysit. Toddlers throwing tantrums? See my suggestions on that in my post under "Thoughts on Parenting".

Churches do NOT need scores of Sunday school teachers, most of which are NOT gifted teachers. They simply need one or more elders or pastors, who, according to Paul in the Bible, must be able to teach. Then WHOLE FAMILIES can sit together under his teaching. Churches do NOT need scores of nursery workers, who seldom get the privilege of uninterrupted listening to Bible teaching. The PARENTS are responsible for taking a crying baby or a tantrum-throwing toddler into another room, where they won't interrupt and distract the Bible teaching that is going on. In some cases, an older sibling could do that too. Sure, they will miss some teaching, but it won't go on forever. Part of Bible teaching is to teach parents how to raise their kids to go places with them without making a huge scene of noise and tantrums. Churches do NOT need youth "pastors", many of which are not Bible teachers, but their "gift" is to teach your teenagers that church does not have to be boring, so they specialize in showing them how to have "fun". By doing that, they are undermining the value of what their parents are doing, listening to a gifted Bible teacher - whether it's fun or not. Jesus didn't come to this earth to teach us how to have fun. On the other hand, some of our most pleasurable times have been laughing and fellowshiping and playing games with other
Christians. And yes, we have had some pretty good laughs during our church assembly as well.

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