By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
According to the Bible, churches are groups of people, not the buildings in which they meet. One of the things unique to the current time here in the USA, and maybe elsewhere, is what are called “multi-campus churches.” Such churches have one main congregation with its preacher(s), and this congregation starts other congregations in different locations. These churches listen to and watch the sermons preached in the main church. They might have leaders who do some of the preaching and teaching, but the attendees are dependent on the sermons from the preacher(s) from the main church. Therefore, each congregation hears the same sermons from the main church.
I want to point out that, even if the preaching is true to the Bible, the method deviates from it. According to the Bible, each congregation is to have its own preachers. They have the freedom to listen to and watch sermons by others, but this is not to be the norm. If you read the New Testament very carefully, concentrating on the Book of Acts and what is found in the writings that follow it (Romans – Revelation), you will find my claim to be true.
There are some big problems with the multi-campus church method described above: 1) It keeps congregations from having their own PRIMARY preacher(s). When a congregation has its own PRIMARY, not SECONDARY, preachers, those men can speak to the needs of the congregation in ways outsiders cannot. 2) It has the potential to keep churches from recognizing those of its own men whom God has called to the ministry, and allowing them to develop and exercise their God-given gifts in a PRIMARY way, not just in a SECONDARY way, right in their own churches. 3) The main church in a multi-campus church has the potential to gain a cult-like control over its attendees. After all, the other churches all listen to and watch the same man or men.
Men of God should be glad and eager to start other churches, help them get their own preachers and other leaders, and encourage them to stand on their own feet as congregations without outside control.