Choosing Between TV Church and Live Service
Last week, we compared the advantages of small and large churches to help readers determine which worship experience was right for them. But that discussion hinges largely on the fact that an individual has a local church that they are interested in and able to attend.
But what about scheduling, location or personal issues that make attending a church service difficult or impossible?
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Here, we compare the advantages of live versus broadcast services.
Live Service Advantages:
Community: You know that part at the beginning of service, when the pastor asks everyone to greet their neighbors? Or at the end, when everyone holds hands before dismissal? You miss out on all of that when you're planted on your living room couch.
Full Worship Experience:
For the sake of saving time and, subsequently, the cost of airtime, many ministries only broadcast an abbreviated version of their services. Joel Osteen, for example, only airs his full, one-hour service from Houston's Lakewood Church once per week. The other 10-plus times that you can catch his message, it is completely praise-and-worship free. With no Israel Houghton. Seriously.
Sunday morning service is great, but often one of the best parts of attending church is having the opportunity to get involved in and experience all of the other ministries available. You just can't do that from home.
Broadcast Service Advantages:
See the reference, above, to being "planted on your living room couch."
Work schedules, sick babies, vacations and more can get us out of our regular church-going routines. Broadcast services ensure that we always have an option that's as flexible as we need it to be.
Close your eyes and imagine if the only people in the world who ever got to hear the powerful messages of Bishop TD Jakes were those that lived in the Dallas, Texas-area and were members of his church, The Potter's House. Ok, now open your eyes and shake off that nightmare.
I believe that both live and broadcast services have a place in every Christian's worship routine. After the birth of each of my children, I relied on the television ministries of several preachers and churches to feed my spirit with good, Biblical teaching. At the same time, though, I could never give up attending the church that I love with the other members who have become my friends and family.
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