It’s the age-old decade-old debate... is live teaching better than using video feed for multi-site churches? The answer isn't obvious. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Leadership Network, 27% of multi-site churches use mostly video-based teaching, 46% use only live teaching, and 34% use a combination of the two.
There are many opinions out there, but the right answer really depends on the needs of your church. Let’s take a look at the advantages of each:
Call them curmudgeons if you like, but there are some people who will never prefer to watch a message on a screen instead of seeing it in person. That's one of live teaching's biggest advantages - it provides a real-life connection that just can't be replicated. So if that personal touch is important to much of your congregation, live teaching may be the way to go.
Logistically speaking, another great advantage of live teaching is the initial affordability. Not having to invest money into expensive technical equipment for live feeds can allow your new campus to use resources for other things, like outreach events or an awesome children’s space.
Consistency in communication is an important aspect of any multi-site church - and one that video teaching definitely helps with. Having a consistent voice can help build a clear vision for all your campuses. Typically, a multi-site church using video teaching has a more unified feel, as each campus hears the same message delivered by the same voice each week.
Another great advantage of video teaching it can help make the best use of your team's talents. For example, perhaps you have someone on your team who'd make an excellent campaus pastor but isn't all that suited for teaching. Video would allow this person to step into a leadership role while letting a more experienced speaker handle that duty for all campuses. Freeing people to focus on what they're best at can take a campus to the next level.
So... Which Should You Choose?
We're not here to tell you what to pick. But we would encourage you to make your decision based on the strengths of your team.
Do you have a bench of strong speakers who can provide excellent in-person teaching at each of your campuses? Then perhaps live teaching is the way to go. Or maybe you have a single teacher who's exceptionally gifted. Consider making the most of their talents by using video-based teaching.
Costs, logistics, and personal preferences aside, great communication always impacts people more than good communication does, whether being delivered live or on a screen.