A New Kind of Pastor

Since I was a kid, I have spent hours upon hours imagining new ways of being church together.  The problem that church leaders run into is that the ideas we think are amazing, our congregational members do not like.  That should really not be surprising.  People who come to a worship service each Sunday like the experience and venue — usually many rows of people sitting looking at the back of another person’s head while we watch other heads on a stage who talk and sing to the people sitting in the rows.  That’s why these “regular church attenders” come to worship each week.  They like the experience!  The problem is the vast majority of people who do not like such an experience, who do not come to worship or participate in a faith community on a regular basis.  One of the chief complaints by these other groups is that they don’t like the format, it’s not interactive enough, they don’t want to be entertained or talked at or watch something for an hour.

My Senior Pastor, Steve Poos-Benson, is currently on Sabbatical studying the virtual church.  He just posted some thoughts about SimChurch here.  His thoughts about the virtual church have intersected with my own interest in online learning.  Places such as Khan Academy are revolutionizing the ways that schools and teachers function.  It’s places like Khan that get me thinking about the church and how we as congregations can function in new ways.  What if the Church could be revolutionized by this movement.  There are amazing preachers all over the world.  What if we could get them all on the same site together (think TED talks for the church – or actually, think of literally streaming a TED talk in a worship service – now that would be awesome).  Then, the pastors at various congregations could begin functioning in a different way.  Rather than having to spend 10-15 hours per week (some spend more than this) on a sermon and trying to be an amazing public speaker, the new kind of pastor could unpack these “master sermons from master preachers” for their local context.  Worship could then center on other worshipful acts such as singing, prayer, meditation, communion, celebration, and other liturgical acts while also allowing a pastor and the congregation to benefit from these master preachers.

In classrooms all around the US and the world, teachers are moving from lectures in the class and homework at home to a new structure where you watch master lectures on your screen at home and the teacher helps you apply the concepts with “classwork” rather than homework in the classroom.  What if our congregations picked up on this notion as well?  What if we began to have new kinds of pastors?


2 thoughts on “A New Kind of Pastor

  1. I’m so relieved to hear someone talking about doing church in a more relevant way. I recently visited my sister’s church in the Brentwood, TN area when I spent 2 days there for a family get-together. The pastor giving the sermon was on a screen in life-size, while the physically present pastor of this satellite church was able to focus more on serving the congregation and not preparing a great sermon. The maximum church building size appeared to be for about 300 which is small enough for people to really know each other and serve each other and the community more locally. I still question the old go-to-church on Sunday to be entertained and preached to – even in this satellite model. I don’t think that was Jesus’ idea – it’s more of an American cultural adaptation. Iif we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, the real focus should be outward. Thanks for your article….I love the Khan Academy/Ted Talks model idea, too.

  2. Hello.

    I would like to share with you a new book that has just come out called Fall of the Temple System
    Why It Is Important to Develop a Personal Relationship with God
    by Gregory Alan Turner
    Fall of the Temple System answers some key important questions and more about the nature of serving the Lord as a body of believers.
    These questions are:
    Is there any relation between the Jewish temple and the Christian churches of today? Could the Christian churches be destroyed like the Jewish temple? Why did Jesus say, ‘Many are called, but few are chosen’? When or is there an end to human rule on earth? Why did Jesus say, ‘When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth’?

    I think you will find that these questions are very pertinent for those both within the churches as well as those not a part of any church who are seeking a real relationship with the Lord.

    God has been calling people of faith throughout the history of man. Starting with Adam and Eve, I make a comprehensive yet efficient journey through
    the Bible, showing readers the beginnings of the temple/synagogue, its glory days, its years of corruption, Jesus’s transformation of the Jewish temple system back to a religion of faith, and what it has evolved into today. God desires a relationship with every human being. Are the churches of today helping that goal or impeding it?

    Information on Fall of the Temple System is available at:

    It is also available for sale at:

    You are welcome to email me anytime for more information about the book as well as for upcoming book signings in and around Denver etc.

    May the Lord bless you and your outreach in your search for a personal relationship with God.

    – Greg

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