Sunday, January 27, 2008

Video Church

New trend, or just really bad luck?

In our "no surrender" battle to find a church in Seattle, today we stumbled into a second church where worshipers (hereby referred to as "spectators") stare blankly up at a big screen projection of a pastor's giant head - located 10 miles away at the "main campus." Even more oddly, the video feed wasn't live, but a playback from earlier in the morning. The A/V guy at the back of the sanctuary literally pushed the [play] button and the pastor's image appeared on the screen (with a little blue caption for a few seconds: DVD begin).

We were immediately disheartened, as a normal, traditional churchgoer might be. Is this not normal, or are we just really out of touch with modern evangelistic trends? For one, if we wanted to see a pastor's mug projected onto a screen, we would have stayed home and watched Joel Osteen in the comfort of our living room. For another, the entire purpose of church is to fellowship with other believers. Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer said from his Nazi jail cell (paraphrase): "you should be lucky to go to any church (you could be in jail like me)." Bonhoeffer emphasized the importance of fellowshipping in a church. But how can you truly fellowship when the people around you are agog, jaws open and eyes glazed over at the screen atop the stage? I dunno... I guess it works for some. For us - who don't consider ourselves spectators or voyeurs - it's back to square one in the church search. This experiences makes us understand why so many people don't go to church.

1 comment:

Dougie Fresh said...

Haha...I know exactly what church you're talking about! I went to the "main campus" a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it, but I think I would be equally as annoyed by a movie-like atmosphere at church. Good luck in the search...I'm conducting the same church over here on the peninsula!