Saturday, June 18, 2011

Satellite Churches

Question Received: If I have a core group of believers that I fellowship with on a routine basis. If I have the ability to volunteer and serve in a local capacity. If I tithe properly, is there anything that would prevent me from following one or more on line or satelite churches instead of going to a brick and mortar building????

My Answer-
Yes the church is people not "brick and mortar" but humans, who do use buildings.
Yes buildings are needed. Your area needs ministry. People need ministry. I want to see how this can best be done by internet or TV over the local church? I can not.

This is an opinion question. I will give you my opinion shaped by scripture and my strong view of the biblically mandated local church. Read Acts and all the epistles. Do a search on the phrase "local church". The Bible shows God values the local church, His creation. The local church is part of the universal church. The local church is the fellowship you fit in to as a believer. His Son loves the church and died for it.
I will break down your question broadly and then work to specifics on the various points. You have a core group? This is church planter language. Are you wanting to start a church? You do not have to be a pastor to plant a church. You say you are a lay person. Why do you have a core group? Is it for bible study or to start a church or be an extension of a satellite church(in this description a multisite church-several sites yet one church with one pastor)?
You say you tithe properly- to me the proper tithe is to the local church, for local ministries and missions and then shared with foreign ministries and missions.
Malachi 3:10 ESV
"Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need."

I believe the storehouse is the local church. The local church is lessened when we do not fill the store house. Why does the local church not do more? Local Christians often do not support the local church.
I believe the tithe is consistently the measure of giving of the believer in both the Old and New Testament to the local church, some do not. If you want to support another ministry do it with an offering , specially designated that does not undercut the ministry of the local church.
The local church preaches the Word, disciples believers and supports world evangelism and does ministry to believers and missions locally and to the world.
Why would you want to send your tithe away when your community needs it and a strong local church?
Why do churches do less today? People catch the vision of ministry but forget the main agent of ministry -the local church.

What is your definition of a satellite church? Is a satellite church a church by satellite like Shepard's Chapel in Arkansas. Many consider them a conservative Bible believing church. Many are convinced they are a cult. It is in Arkansas. I am in Georgia. Why would I want to send God's tithe of the local church to the someone who I do not get accountability from yet they would demand it from you as you are a subservient attachment.

You asked is there anything wrong with following one or more satellite churches on line. For learning that is only as good as the church you are studying. Another consideration is why? Do you live in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and have no access to people or churches?

The other type of satellite church now popular in metro areas is branch churches (multisite churches -yet one pastor) or franchises where a pastor preaches at one location and a video is shown for others at separate locations (or he rotates at a main site or travels to speak at more than one location.
In my opinion this is a good approach if you lived in the Middle east -but in America?
Do you live where there is no functioning church? If you do not join a true local it is that snobbery as we prefer brand appeal orthe super star pastor. Super star receives your tithe. Local pastor Brother Joe who only preaches, prays, conducts weddings and funerals, baptizes, ministers to the people in his flock he knows by name. I live in an area of satellite churches (multi-site). I have never seen the super star pastor in a funeral home ministering to people -why? he does not know them.
You have accountability to them-they have none to you.
These types of mega churches are actually a denomination with one preacher, you are a franchise like a new McDonald's is to the McDonald's corporation.

Why do you want to give money away from your area to a satellite ministry of any kind? You know what ministry and missions need to be done better what the an anonymous person on the internet or TV or from a preacher shown by video in a warehouse.

So you see , I do not see any advantage in joining a satellite church unless you lived in a remote place devoid of all christian churches. Other Christians would disagree with me.

If you have a core group, pray and seek, find a pastor, plant a church if it is needed by people not being ministered to in your community.
What is a church?
1. It provides group biblical worship.
2. It edifies and disciples believers. The people then minister to each other and
do missions for the lost.
3. The church participates in evangelism, locally and world wide.
Can only a satellite meet these needs?
Some do not agree with me, I see no need for a satellite church in 99% of America.

Brother I would study 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Mark Dever has a well used book "9 Marks of an Effective Church" I would recommend. I suggest that you would contact a solid church in your faith tradition or denomination. Then explore if you with a core group need to plant a church. I think a like minded church or denomination would want to help.
Get off the web and get the ministry on your streets.

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