Dr. Albert Mohler hosted a panel discussion at Southern Seminary on multi-site churches. The panel consisted only of Baptists, so it was dealt with the multi-site phenomenon within a baptistic ecclesiological framework. Panel members represented a spectrum of opinion on this question:
Single Campus/Single City/No Video Preaching â€“ Greg Gilbert (Capitol Hill Baptist Church)
Multi-campus/Single City/No Video Preaching â€“ Kevin Ezell (Highview Baptist Church) and Daniel Montgomery (Sojourn)
Multi-campus/Multi-City/Video Preaching â€“ Greg Allison (Southern Seminary)
Great discussion. I think Daniel was right to press Greg on his use of “assembly”.
I found it curious that at the start of the discussion Dr. Mohler stated that this was a Baptist discussion, but other than Dr. Allison’s comment about Wales in the 19th century, all the proponents of multi-site did not stand on historic Baptist ecclesiology to support their argument.
I guess I should have added that it might be because there isn’t any. The multi-site appears at first glance to be Episcopal or Presbyterian in its governance and I would have like to have heard the proponents speak to that issue.
Nathan, that’s very much a pot-shot approach to the issue. This discussion requires far more than a “first glance.” Also, it’s not enough to ask, is it Baptist, but rather, is it biblical? Greg argued from silence/regulative principal theory that the descriptions of gatherings in Acts are commands to the church today. I stand with Daniel and disagree with him.
The multi-site guys are Bishops.
On the contrary, I do think there are Baptist issues to be discussed because, well there are denominations, and governance is one of the large reasons for different denominations. Moreover, Dr. Mohler stated it was a Baptist discussion and that these were all Baptist pastors.
Haven’t listened to the discussion yet, but I agree with Mark Dever on these matters. I not only disagree with multi-campus churches but also having multiple services. I feel like if your church is too large to meet in one building at one time, then maybe you need to consider doing so more church planting or build a larger building so that people can be together when they worship and edify one another.
I do not think you quite fair in the baptist vs. biblical comment to Nathan. When I or anyone else raises the issue of Baptist Congregationalism, we are not primarily raising an issue of Baptist Theology vs. Biblical theology, but what Baptists have historically believed to be biblical.
I truly would have liked to hear some debate on this topic, particularly how it effects polity.
Good discussion. I’ve always been skeptical of the multi-site approach, but I’ve been re-thinking the issue lately, largely because of the case made by Montgomery and the rest of the Sojourn elders.
Watched the discussion and found it to be helpful. Still agree with the guys at Capital Hill for the most part, but am a little more sympathetic to the Sojourn approach, but not as convinced that the extent to which Highview takes it is at helpful as they think.
One thing is for such though, I am sick of the “missional/DNA” language and ready for the American church and its leader to move onto the next trend so that we can learn some more sub-biblical language to describe the body of Christ 😉