Wal-mart Churches [gateway]

Looking through my Google Reader, I've noticed a spike in stories on multi-site churches, or churches that open new campuses operated by the originating church.  They are not a new phenomenon, but have taken on a new form in recent years as the internet allows one pastor to be several places at once via telecast.

So take this as a gateway topic, ie. a blog post where people can share resources and opinions and we can base future blog posts off of this one.

Previous Topics
We've talked about multi-site churches previously here at HX!
Links for Discussion
Here's a linkdump from my GReader to bring more discussion!
  • schismatic Presby church in Tulsa plans a new site - interesting to note that the site of the church plant will also be sold to local businesses to create a community.  
  • A USA Today article (h/t @gavoweb) on the multi-site phenomenon struck me when it said "even if people are just watching a preacher on a screen"...I wonder if embracing preaching as televised edutainment is a problem...
  • Jenny Smith has notes from Rick Warren, one point which I would contest.  Warren claims moving from large gatherings to small groups, from large church meccas to multi-site parishes, is decentralization.  I disagree because the theological agenda still comes from the head...Rick Warren.
  • Mark Driscoll has five reasons why multi-site is awesome (and he's pledged 100 sites of Mars Hill).
Terms for Discussion
Here's the definition of Wal-marting.  It is my contention that it is an accurate label to give multi-site churches, as I've said previously. Let me know if you see some parallels to the multi-site model.
The Wal-Mart business model includes: marketing to a broad "family" demographic that includes rural as well as urban, ethnic minorities as well as mainstream, people without a higher level education, lower- or working-class consumers, as well as the middle-class; one-stop shopping based on a very large selection of goods and services; the use of intense price competition and high-technology inventory management to stimulate and satisfy end-user demand; extreme economies of scale based on big-box delivery of consumables; aggressive supply-chain management that requires producers to reduce their costs significantly to find an outlet for their goods; employment of store workers for low wages, few benefits, and little job security to reduce overhead.
Thoughts or other links?  Post them below or start conversation on this topic.


johnmeunier December 28, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

Great topic. I have little to add, other than a bit of ill-informed skepticism. But I look forward to seeing what discussion others bring to the topic.

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