Thinking Out Loud

November 2, 2012

Skye Jethani: Multi-Site is Biblically Counter-Intuitive

This quotation is from the Phil Vischer podcast (episode 23) and occurs starting around the 32:00 mark, with this text around 35:00

If I’m going to go and sit in a room with a bunch of strangers and watch a screen anyway, why not just sit at home and watch the same thing and not have to deal with the parking headaches… Here’s the irony: In my mind: of all the religions out there, Christianity is the one for whom incarnation is absolutely essential. It’s the foundation of our faith; God became flesh and dwelt among us. That’s the incarnation. And now we are disincarnating the Church … the pastor’s just a projection of pixels on a screen, I don’t really know the people around me because it’s such a massive community that I’m just anonymous in it. And I think, frankly, that although these trends are happening… I don’t think it’s going to last…

Here’s the thing… I can come in as a guest speaker. I know a little bit about your community, a little bit about that congregation. I can say some things, I can drop some bombs, I can fly away. But when you are incarnate in that community, like this pastor [where I was last week] he’s telling me what’s going on in this church, people who are sick, families that are struggling, the nitty gritty of living life together in community and he knows these people… He takes that knowledge of his sheep into the pulpit with him as he crafts a sermon and studies the word of God, brings the reality of his congregation’s unique challenges and struggles together with the word of God. This is what you see Paul doing in Paul’s letters writing to specific churches. He’s combining the truths of the gospel with the reality of the church… The reason why God has given leaders to the church, shepherds in particular, is so that somebody on the ground is incarnate, who knows God’s sheep and can help them each with his word and the reality that they are experiencing individually and corporately in the body.

~Skye Jethani



  1. Reblogged this on now it springs forth and commented:
    What do you think?

    Comment by nowitspringsforth — November 2, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  2. Sitting with a bunch a strangers is the key. The church is a social/relationship organization. Social with God and social with Man. If there is no social with man, why not stay at home and download a podcast or simulcast a sermon. Might have better preaching and a lot of sermons on the local level may or may not draw on the local social since most pastors have no social out side of the church or their own family. There are even podcasts that almost act as the social with man aspect for example Phil’s podcast, or Relevant podcast. In this day it is easy to not to look to the local church for anything more than to have sunday school for kids or a youth group.

    Comment by Kevin — November 2, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  3. hay, paul, skye jethani linked to you on twitter…way to go!

    Comment by randy morgan — November 2, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

  4. Being a non-tech ‘oldie’ I guess my view is expected. If I was home-bound I might find an online Church a help, but I would still value my local Church and expect to still be part of it.

    I think of Paul’s description of the Church as several parts of the body, all working together, all important, encouraging one another, serving the Lord together, and together reaching out to others. An online Church cannot do this.

    I am thankful for online teaching and help, but it is no alternative to a body of believers meeting together and sharing together as a family.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — November 2, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

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