This blog entry is part of a series of reflections on the multi-site model of church. After the whole series has been posted, you can do a search for multi-site within the blog to pull up the whole series.
This is hands-down the most contentious issue for multi-site churches: live speakers vs. videocasting. Although there is much to be said on both sides of the issue regarding cost, consistency, excellence, contextualization, etc., I see the core value here as developing others.
Videocasting sermons to an ever-increasing number of sites fails to develop other teachers. Just as small group leaders must raise up other small group leaders, and intercessors must raise up other intercessors, teachers must raise up other teachers. Sometimes that means people will make mistakes and the level of excellence will take a temporary drop. But that is the unavoidable price of developing others. No one starts out having it all together.
Multi-site churches, due to the fact that they have several smaller venues, actually provide fertile ground for developing other teachers if they take advantage of that opportunity. Having multiple teachers also allows for creative approaches, such as rotating different speakers to different venues and allowing for variety of voice and perspective. As an added bonus, empowering multiple teachers also avoids the problem of the pastor-centered church. If something happens to the one main teaching pastor, the church doesn’t fall apart or lose half its membership.