DVR Church (2 of 2)

Our senior pastor recently mentioned the possibility of using worship on DVD to facilitate formation of house churches for renewal in the mainline church. There are a couple distinctions that I see from a web stream.

One distinction is that there is intentionally a physical community gathered to worship. I think that this is a good thing and also hope that people worshiping via the web stream will gather with others to do so. Having a leader being intentional about formation is excellent.

Another distinction is that there is no way for what is being shown to be happening live physically. This may not be a problem most weeks, but in times of the year where it does matter – Advent, Christmas Eve, Easter, etc. there could potentially be a disconnect.

I am excited about the potential in all of this for the renewal of the church, but am still considering what may be the most faithful and relevant way of continuing to be the church.

I think that the best approach is to stride ahead with confidence in God and no worries if a particular approach does not prove fruitful. The gospel is truth and there are many ways of telling it.

8 thoughts on “DVR Church (2 of 2)

  1. i never got much out of distance learning picking up tapes watching, studying then taking a test at a testing center. stop, i did get an okay grade, but there was not much, if any, in the way of passion associated with the work.

    our district leaders are dreaming up much the same idea and i have to shoot it down. their purpose is a little different, some training, mostly resource, but an element of ‘passionate worship’ all over dvd just doesn’t make with me.

    i watch palagia all the time (a music channel that plays music, and mostly concerts) and love it, but i don’t connect with the bands like the crowds do. i know that ac/dc or bruce springsteen isn’t playing at 4 in the afternoon. i’m not participating in something special, i’m watching something that was special.

  2. Gavin – Thanks for throwing in your perspective. I particularly appreciate “I’m not participating in something special, I’m watching something that was special.” That make a strong argument against DVD and towards live broadcast. I wonder if you can stream to the Apple TV? That might be a set top box that would allow gathering in homes but removes the issue of being previously taped.
    If something like that could work, I think it would have much greater potential..

  3. I think its all in the packaging. Lifechurch does very little actual live teaching, most of it is pre-produced, so the packaging around the content is vital. How it is introduced and contextualized makes all the difference when it comes to how it is received. One of the issues with classical distance learning, is that it has been so poorly executed. I am convinced that if i want to learn about, for example, the Civil War – my most engaging medium would be Ken Burn’s documentaries, not a professor in a room with 600 students (Which was my experience at Texas Tech). Not only was he simply a talking head, but the size of the “crowd” in that context had a disconnecting effect.

  4. Chuck: Not that it fully matters:

    On the internet that is correct, we use a recorded experience from our 5 o’clock saturday then run it with the other pre-produced intro’s and outro’s upload it all then run it for the 6:30 live experience online

    As of right now, most of our weekend experiences are live via sat to our campuses. Some campuses do receive an ISO from a Saturday evening teaching if they do not have a sat uplink

  5. I realize that some are proposing the use of DVDs in house churches but I think the use of the live stream is the way to proceed. I’m willing to bet that DVDs are being proposed because of the conception that homes have the technology to allow viewing of a DVD on a large screen (i.e. television). However, the proponents of this solution are forgetting the time required to produce and ship the DVDs to the house churches. That time delay will cause a disconnect between the teaching and the church year.

    It is possible to connect a computer to a TV to allow the viewing of the service in a living room. The challenge will come in figuring out what “technology” currently exists in the “home” and what graphic cards, cables or other devices would be needed to allow for the connection.

    I don’t see technology being the limiting factor. Instead I see the lack of training or resources for the development of these “house” churches as being the limiting factor. As a member of a rural church whose pastor is responsible for a multi-point charge, I believe that the use of these live broadcasts can be used to help small rural churches continue to serve their communities. The conference just needs to figure out how to resolve the minor technical glitches at the receiving end and then provide the training and leadership resources to develop house churches – even if they are being held in a church building.

  6. Marcia – Great comments. Thank you for your addition to the conversation. Good call on the distinction between technological and training / resources of people as a limiting factor. You have a lot of wisdom to offer in this area. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Came accross your blog as we have started our new online church. Just for your information we are using a streamed pre-recorded service. But soon will have live community features and hopefully live interactive Bible studies. The stream is quit good, nearly DVD quality and can work much like a DVR once it is loaded. I pray as well that this will support the home church movement as well. Thanks for sharing your blogs.

  8. Michael – Thanks for your comment and for the link. I explored your site a bit – interesting.

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