Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just Mail It In

Crank alert. Rant warning. Consider yourself notified.

Ben Wright quotes Mark Driscoll:

Pre-recording 2 sermons today. Allows me to go to Zac’s baseball tourney with my family rather than not seeing them on Father’s Day.

This is, as Ben says, a “minimal and rational step” when you conclude that you don’t need a pastor to preach to an assembly to have a church, though this goes a bit beyond “I can’t be there to preach because I am over here preaching the same message to a different assembly.”

Apparently, preaching on video in order to get to a baseball game is the only way to clear up a few hours to spend with the kids on Father’s Day.

And while I am here, If Driscoll is all about redeeming culture, why not start with little league baseball tournaments? Why not get them moved off of Sundays? 

Listen, I love sports. I played them growing up and I coach them today. I had my 5 year old son over hitting golf balls at the range last week after his swim meet, and took him swimming last night. I was out Sunday night at the ballfield pitching to my son and then chasing him to first base when he hit it. So this is not an anti-kids sports rant. Nonetheless, I remain unconvinced that kids’ sports are a good reason to miss Sunday worship, even occasionally, particularly if you are the pastor.

Furthermore, once we start this where does it end? What are the boundaries? Why not record the preaching video on Saturday when it’s raining so you can take the kids to the lake on Sunday when the sun is shining (cuz you know we need family time, right?)?

Here’s another thing: One of the things Driscoll recently claimed, in his table talk with Dever and MacDonald, is that they (Mars Hill) are raising up all kinds of pastors who can preach.

Apparently all of them were at baseball games or something, too.

Interesting that out of the 10,000+ people at Mars Hill, not a single person with the gift of preaching was going to be able to show up to handle the preaching on Father’s Day.

Which raises the question: Why do you need to train up other preachers if you can just video yourself? I suggest it’s an unhealthy, dare I say ungodly, celebrity culture.

I wonder how Driscoll would respond if those 10,000+ all decided that Father’s Day meant they needed to be somewhere else, so they would just watch the service later online? And fax in their offering checks?

I would say I am speechless, but if you have gotten this far, you know that’s not true.

Seriously, this reminds me that ecclesiology remains a weak subject for the modern church.  

Hyles, Hybels, Driscoll, and Warren (and lots of others) have taught us that all the stops can be pulled out to draw the crowd. And we can pull out a few stops to avoid the crowd if we have a better option.

There is, among these leaders, an admirable goal to reach people. I am challenged by it.

Hybels says something like, “We are not just seeker-driven; we are seeker-obsessed.” I think most of us could stand a little dose of desire to reach the unreached. Hyles had a similar philosophy, as do some others I know of, though for my dollar, I am not sure that the pop music, drama, and stage show at Willow Creek are all that much worse than the live goldfish swallowing, southern gospel music, and stage show at FBC Hammond. The preaching surely can’t be any worse. If I am going to endure some nonsense in the name of evangelism I would just as soon do it at Willow Creek than FBC Hammond. At least I wouldn’t have to wear a tie at Willow Creek.

Of course, some will be offended that I even make that comparison. It won’t bother them that I mentioned Hybels. It will only bother them that I left the “b” out.

But I digress.

I think we need a stronger ecclesiology, one that includes interaction with the question of whether or not the preacher should actually show up to preach.

On the other hand, perhaps Driscoll is on to something here.

I have a lot of friends I could play golf with on Sunday morning. If I video myself, I can go play golf on Sunday mornings, and still get home in time to see my family.

I could even take my wife, and we could call it a date, ‘cuz you know I am pretty busy the other 167 hours during the week and I gotta take care of my marriage.

And besides I need someone to carry my bag.

But don’t worry ‘cuz I tip good.


Don Johnson said...

You tip good!

Now that's a good one, Larry!

Very good commentary. I couldn't agree more. Shouldn't this be sounding some alarm bells in the minds of many Driscoll fans?

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Scott B. said...

Wow, that's got to be a first when I can agree with not only Larry but Don Johnson too! Can't remember the last time that happened. :-) Generally I appreciate Driscoll's ministry, but I do disagree with this move.


Donn Heinrich said...

Larry, thanks for the great idea about video taping my sermons before I leave for vacation :) (Not.) I always ask the other godly leaders in our church to preach when I am away. Sometimes I've asked them to preach even when I'm not away.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Larry!! No need to hire a full time Pastor, just play video's!
WOW, I don't need an Evangelist, I got a DVD! Hmm, can I get a youth man like that?

ST From Day One!