Francis Asbury, Driscoll, Mars Hills discussed on TuneInPOC
It seems sacrilegious. Driscoll made historical comparisons as well. In his defense of multi site. He made his most direct appeal by referencing the horseback methodist circuit rider ministries. We have, instead of a horse, you have a screen. If you're doing video preaching. In early methodism, I'll give you one example of Francis asbury who was the founding bishop of American methodism. He traveled a quarter million miles estimated on foot and horseback preached 16,000 sermons. That's multi campus under a senior leader whose primary preacher functioning in an apostolic way. Not in the possible like the New Testament authors, but apostolic in that they have leadership influence over multiple churches whereas a pastor has leadership influence over a church. He also mentions the printing press, but then he goes on to talk about loudspeakers, radio, and television, and how they gave Billy Graham a reach for the gospel that was unimaginable a century before. He then describes a pretty dramatic vision for what multi site could look like in just a few years. I believe it is probable that you will have churches in the millions. I don't think it's impossible to have a church of a million people. It happens in other nations in another places, but I think technology and the number of screens in America has made it possible to have churches of that kind of scope and race. Now, to be sure, not a lot, and certainly not mine because if you've listened to me, you know, I'm not. Mass marketable. I hit a very sort of drunken redneck indie rocker, good sense of humor, niche. But there will be someone who is able to speak to a mass audience with broad appeal. And there will be many more. More screens in churches than theaters, just think about that on your way home. When he turns his attention to the Internet, you see a glimpse of what Mars hills reach looked like in 2008. And I think between these comments and the comments about screens, there's a sketch of a road map for where the church would go in the next 6 years. I mean, today, what we're finding, I'll preach a sermon on Sunday. Like in our religion safe series a while back, preacher sermon on a Sunday, we'd send it out to iTunes and Facebook and MySpace and YouTube and we put it on our main website and our media portal. Let's say on a Sunday I preached to a certain number of people, that week, either in full or in part, the sermon would be downloaded, listened to or viewed audio and video format, upwards of a 100,000 times. You think about the multiplication of the message through the Internet. And that's unbelievable. You know, so if there's a Sunday and there's 6000 people I preach to, it goes on the Internet, hits another 100,000 people that week, and it lives forever. We've talked a lot in several episodes now about the role of media in the life of Mars hill. But the story demands that we keep coming back to it, because as the years went by, most of the church only knew Driscoll through these mediated experiences. Either online or in pre recorded and sometimes edited sermons. It's kind of stunning to look at the pace at which technology evolved in the 18 years of Mars hill's life. In terms of the ability to capture and project sermons week to week, which allowed the multi side expansion. And the development of high-speed Internet, streaming technology, and smartphones, enabling Mars hill to connect with an audience that was much broader than previously possible. The evolution of media is central to this story because it was central to this cultural moment. Here's Nick bogardus, who was Mars hill's PR and media relations director, and was later the lead pastor at the Orange County campus. His time at Mars hill led to a lot of reflection on the formative role of media in the spiritual life of the church. There's a whole field of study called media ecology that I got into. Most people know Neil postman, Marshall mcluhan, and so the argument that field makes is that when technology is introduced into an environment, it's rarely neutral. Tool can sometimes be neutral in its usage, but it always impacts the environment. And so you can't over estimate the power that it has to form in the problem is that often we don't notice it, or we assume it's benefit without asking the hard questions about how it's shaping us in.