Technology has an uncanny ability not only to solve sundry problems, but to raise meta-level questions about how we do things. Thirty years ago it would have been prohibitively expensive to channel video of a man preaching from one place to another, and so was on no one’s radar. A church could only accommodate growth by building bigger, and/or multiplying services. Today, however, we can grow in a more modular fashion. With relatively inexpensive video equipment we can squeeze in 200 more in the fellowship hall, and later on, another 500 on the other side of town.

Some churches have nuanced the strategy still further by creating different experiences at different sites, with a shared sermon among them. In one site the music and mood is blue like jazz. Everyone drinks fancy coffee while an earnest fellow in skinny jeans leads the service. At another site they offer Mountain Dew and Krispy Kremes, complete with southern gospel singing. When the pastor arrives, however, everyone receives the same sermon.

This is not only not a good idea, it is a profoundly bad idea. It is a mound of bad ideas built on a foundation of bad presuppositions. You can tell, because it is a profoundly American idea. Here’s a brief and partial list of the ways this is bad:

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