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.