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Friday, December 08, 2006
(1:31 AM) | Stephen:
Satellite Churches

I spent some time poking around the Community Christian Church website. It's quite an organization. It's a Satellite Church, a multi-site congregation that uses video and other technology to offer the same sermon and perhaps music to a couple - or a lot - of different locations.

It's funny how the Wikipedia article says that North Coast Church of Vista, CA, was the first church to do that. Ha ha, no. That would be The Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea. They've actually gone away from that model and the various congregations are calling their own pastors. It's now more of an association or denomination than a whole bunch of congregations all "pastored" by Cho, Yong-gi. However, he is still the main focus of the association.

On a personal note, I taught two of his nieces English when they were freshmen in college. Absolutely brilliant, wonderful girls.

The thing about satellite churches is that they completely remove any priestly component to the lead pastor, except in a very general sense. They also show the most complete break with sacramentalism this side of totally non-sacramental groups like the Salvation Army. They could not more clearly say that the focal point, the ultimate expression of the worship service, is the sermon than to organize congregations that (often) share nothing but a common sermon delivered to them by video.

If there is the Eucharist at all, it is served by junior pastors at best. Same with baptism. I don't think we need to get all squirrely about the Eucharist they way some Romans and others can. But it should be a big deal. It's a mystery, something we don't understand. It needs to be blessed, not by some stubble-faced intern with a BA in Communications and ripped jeans, but by a person ordained by the Church, set apart for the sake of ministry and leadership to the Body of Christ. That needs to be the central focus of our services, just like it was for the earliest Church, something the Restorationists leave out when trying to recreate the 1st Century Church.

Some 44-year-old "dude" with an allover tan and a soul patch, wandering around a parking lot talking about eBay is, in my not humble opinion, lean fare for starving souls.

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