Are Multisite Preachers Losing the Value of Being a Shepherd?

Interesting commentary from Perry Noble and Matt Chandler:

(RSS Readers: Can’t see the video? Click through to the site.)

Chandler’s point is particularly interesting: Because preachers can become disconnected regardless of the size of the church where they serve, the question is not so much a multisite one as a pastoral-shepherding one. If so, it leads to a couple of questions to consider (and ones I’d love to get some feedback on from a few of the pastors reading):

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the assessment that it’s not so much an issue of the multisite model as it is the temptation for pastors to disconnect from one-to-one shepherding?
  2. Is the question, even if viewed as a pastoral-shepherding one, even the right question? Does it create a division between shepherding and preaching that doesn’t necessarily need to exist?
  3. How do you structure your time to “balance” one-to-one and congregation-wide shepherding?

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  • http://twitter.com/kurtmichaelson Kurt Michaelson

    I think a multi-site concept with one pastor preaching to people at various venues takes away from the ability to effectively minister/shepherd those people. If someone is identified and known as a campus pastor, why aren’t they given the responsibility of preaching, ministering, shepherding those at that location?  I really don’t see the effectiveness of this and certainly do not see this as a New Testament model to follow either. 

    I do disagree with Perry Noble that a pastor CAN (I believe) effectively shepherd a congregation of 100.  How does he shepherd the mass of people that attend New Spring and at other locations too?  Maybe he’s just the preaching pastor and not a shepherding pastor.

  • http://twitter.com/MelaSie Melanie Siewert

    Being part of both multi-site and a small unaffiliated congregation, I can tell you that shepherding is definitely an issue in multi-site churches.  HOWEVER, I think maintaining a hierarchical structure in ANY denomination (multi-site or not) insinuates to people that the “pastor” is responsible for so much.  The pastor is the one who needs to visit people in the hospital, visit people in jail, etc.  If everyone had the mindset that EVERY believer in the church is a “pastor” then we’ll have many pastors visiting hospitals, jails, etc.

    When Paul explained the structure of the church in 1 Cor 12: First apostles, then prophets, then teachers, etc.  I don’t think this is a mandate to the church to have one senior pastor, multiple teaching pastors (or multi-site pastors) under him, etc.  If I understand God’s word correctly, I believe the church “model” is we have multiple apostles, multiple prophets, multiple teachers, etc all building upon the foundation with all operating on the same level, which is the cross.

    I would love to see a day when the “church model” gets out of the hierarchy structure, and everyone is on the same level because all believers are pastors/shepherds (John 21:15-19), and all believers are priests (1 Peter 2:4-6).

    That’s my 2 cents.  Thanks for the discussion!

  • http://twitter.com/MelaSie Melanie Siewert

    Being part of both multi-site and a small unaffiliated congregation, I can tell you that shepherding is definitely an issue in multi-site churches.  HOWEVER, I think maintaining a hierarchical structure in ANY denomination (multi-site or not) insinuates to people that the “pastor” is responsible for so much.  The pastor is the one who needs to visit people in the hospital, visit people in jail, etc.  If everyone had the mindset that EVERY believer in the church is a “pastor” then we’ll have many pastors visiting hospitals, jails, etc.

    When Paul explained the structure of the church in 1 Cor 12: First apostles, then prophets, then teachers, etc.  I don’t think this is a mandate to the church to have one senior pastor, multiple teaching pastors (or multi-site pastors) under him, etc.  If I understand God’s word correctly, I believe the church “model” is we have multiple apostles, multiple prophets, multiple teachers, etc all building upon the foundation with all operating on the same level, which is the cross.

    I would love to see a day when the “church model” gets out of the hierarchy structure, and everyone is on the same level because all believers are pastors/shepherds (John 21:15-19), and all believers are priests (1 Peter 2:4-6).

    That’s my 2 cents.  Thanks for the discussion!

  • http://twitter.com/MelaSie Melanie Siewert

    Being part of both multi-site and a small unaffiliated congregation, I can tell you that shepherding is definitely an issue in multi-site churches.  HOWEVER, I think maintaining a hierarchical structure in ANY denomination (multi-site or not) insinuates to people that the “pastor” is responsible for so much.  The pastor is the one who needs to visit people in the hospital, visit people in jail, etc.  If everyone had the mindset that EVERY believer in the church is a “pastor” then we’ll have many pastors visiting hospitals, jails, etc.

    When Paul explained the structure of the church in 1 Cor 12: First apostles, then prophets, then teachers, etc.  I don’t think this is a mandate to the church to have one senior pastor, multiple teaching pastors (or multi-site pastors) under him, etc.  If I understand God’s word correctly, I believe the church “model” is we have multiple apostles, multiple prophets, multiple teachers, etc all building upon the foundation with all operating on the same level, which is the cross.

    I would love to see a day when the “church model” gets out of the hierarchy structure, and everyone is on the same level because all believers are pastors/shepherds (John 21:15-19), and all believers are priests (1 Peter 2:4-6).

    That’s my 2 cents.  Thanks for the discussion!

  • http://hereiblog.com/ Mark

    I think Chandler gives the best answer. It is a shepherding question/problem that is in view. Multi-site may, however, give a pastor greater room to hide. It was nice to see Chandler admit he knows people and is working in some of their lives. I get the feeling from Noble that he is more disconnect though I could be wrong.

  • Schandler

     How did I not know about this conference until now?   I already bought the DVD sets.

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      I found that it kind of came out of nowhere. By the time I found out it was being broadcast at satellite locations, it was too late for me to go.