Wednesday, August 12, 2009

9Marks eJournal on Multi-Site Churches

The latest craze among large churches is the forming of multi-site churches. As with all things new it comes with a fair amount of controversy. The May/June issue of the 9Marks eJournal was devoted to the multi-site church phenomena. It offers a good blend of essays which explain, defend or critique and discourage multi-site churches. If your church is considering adopting this model this would be an excellent resource to consult in your deliberations. Here are the essays, their authors and a one-line summary provided from the eJournal.

Presenting and Arguing for Multi-Site Church

Theological Defense of Multi-Site by Greg R. Allison
A seminary professor examines the multi-site phenomenon and offers a biblical, theological, historical, and missional argument for the multi-site church.

A Pastor Defends his Multi-Site Church by J. D. Greehar
A multi-site pastor provides a biblical, practical, and pastoral defense of his multi-site church.

Identifying and Locating the Multi-Site Church

What is this Thing Anyway? A Multi-Site Taxonomy by Greg Gilbert
Can multi-site churches be congregational? What kind of polity does a multi-site church have?

Have We Ever Seen This Before? Multi-Sites Precedents by John S. Hammett
Another seminary professor looks for multi-site churches before 1980. Here's what he finds.

Richard Baxter and the Multi-Site Movement by Jeffery Riddle
What's Richard Baxter's problem with the multi-site church? One word: shepherding.

Clouds on the Horizon by Matt Chandler
A multi-site pastor weighs in on the current state of the multi-site conversation and raises concerns about the future of multi-site churches.

Arguing Against the Multi-Site Church

Nine Reasons I Don't Like Multi-Site Churches, from a Guy Who Should by Thomas White
A young, tech-savvy seminary professor explains why he's not getting on board the
multi-site revolution.

Exegetical Critique of Multi-Site: Disassembling the Church? by Grant Gaines
A pastor-scholar weighs the exegetical arguments in favor of the multi-site church and finds them wanting.

Theological Critique of Multi-Site: Leadership is the Church by Jonathan Leeman
The local church on earth is constituted by a gathering of Christians, which means the multi-site and multi-service “church” is not a church, but an association of churches.

Historical Critique of Multi-Site: Over My Dead Body by Bobby Jamieson
Regardless of the fact that multi-site churches haven't existed for most of the past four hundred years, historic Congregationalists and Baptists have a lot to say against them.

The Alternative to Multi-Site: Why Don't We Plant? by Jonathan Leeman
The multi-site church phenomenon looks like a capitulation to consumeristic culture. We should plant instead.

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