Kenneth Reid on Have We Gone Too Far With the Reinvention of the Church?

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

What counts as church? Is it singing and listening to a sermon? Is it gathering with other Christians? Does it require a pastor? Reimagining church has become a popular aspiration in the past decade or so. But is there a line? And if so, have we crossed it? Let’s look at some popular examples of “church reimagined,” and consider the implications.

Kanye West’s Sunday services

Each week, Kanye West’s Sunday Services are hosted in a different city across America. And rumor has it, he’s planning to go global this year. Several components make this event a unique interpretation of a traditional church service, not least of which is the fact that there is no formal pastor or church leadership. When asked to describe the Sunday Services, Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian described it as primarily a “musical ministry.”

However, she did seem to indicate that he may be pursuing a 501(c)(3) legal status and referred to the event as a “Christian church.” Whether or not Kayne is revolutionizing how church will be done in the future is yet to be seen, but it certainly is a unique reinterpretation that should lead us to ask more fundamental questions like, what exactly does and does not qualify as a church?

Dale Partridge’s house church

In direct contrast to Kanye’s embrace of “lights, camera, action,” church planter and speaker Dale Partridge has gained a substantial following made up of worshipers who believe the “house church” model is the Biblical model for church laid out in the book of Acts. While we can’t ignore Patridge’s recent plagiarism allegations, his house church model is increasing in popularity and is having a substantial impact on Christian culture.

Online church

In an effort to make the Sunday worship experience as convenient and accessible as possible, live-streaming has become a fast-growing trend. Online church, as it is often called, is especially popular among megachurches, including Life Church, North Point Community Church, Elevation Church, Saddleback Church and many others.

Promoters of this unique church experience applaud its unparalleled ability to reach a much wider audience, including people who do not attend church or have limited access to a good church in their area. However, critics argue that online church removes an attendee from community, godly authority and the corporate worship experience.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Kenneth Reid