Well, now the un-scriptural practice of starting “satellite churches” has led to a new breed of multi-site churches. At first it was just a matter of location, now it is a matter of location and doctrine! Although they are in different locations and of different denominations they consider themselves to be “one church”.
According to an article by Lillian Kwon (12/22/09) on christianpost.com, “New Hope South Bay and Newsong (churches in southern California) merged—under the umbrella of Newsong to become one of Newsong’s multi-site campues—-“New Hope lead pastor Charles Lee said,” wanted New Hope to be a part of the formation of what multi-sites may look like in the future.”
More than twenty-five years ago I wrote about why I believe “satellite churches” are unscriptural. My article was a response to what Landmark Baptist Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio was doing. That resulted in John Rawlings attacking me from the pulpit, as he shook the paper in the air, saying,” That’s the little dogs barking at us big dogs.”
Since I heard no one else voicing any objection, I decided it was futile to say any more, so I kept quite and hoped it would be a passing fad that would soon go away. But it hasn’t. According to Lillian Kwon, “The number of multi-sites-one church in multiple locations-has jumped from 300 to some 3,000 over the past decade.” But the problem is getting worse in more ways than one. Now one church can have two campuses of two entirely different denominations! I guess the idea is-if you don’t like what we believe at one location you can attend our service at another location. It just keeps getting crazier all the time. And, still I hear no objections being raised. That amazes me.
It seems strange to me that the same people who used to disagree with the Catholics regarding their form of church government, etc. are now following in their footsteps. I guess the next thing will be a Baptist Pope, etc. I feel sure they could find several candidates who would gladly accept the position, since it would increase their attendance and line their pockets. That seems to be the only thing that matters to people like that. We already have “churches” with locations in different states and now it seems that the new trend will be to include different denominations. Think about it-the news paper ad will say,” Visit us at our Baptist-site in Calif. or our Pentecostal- site in Fla.” That’s crazy!
As smaller churches are increasingly being swallowed up by “Mega-churches”, it’s time that pastors warned their people before they become a casualty in this mad dash for recognition and the desire to become one of the biggest or fastest growing churches. Don’t wait until the doors are closed before you speak out. Pastor’s you can do what you want to do, but I’m going to make sure that our people understand that the whole concept of a “satellite church” is contrary to the scriptures. Instead of starting services or taking over churches in other areas, churches should be starting missions that are organized into self-governing churches. THINK ABOUT IT!