It has been said that a sign of an open mind is being convinced you are wrong.

Over Christmas I met someone from what is best described as a multi-site church.  I respect the church and its pastor who I met once and then exchanged  emails with.  I expressed a concern that I am not convinced multi-site churches are a good idea.

I am still not convinced they should be planned for.  Remembering history however reminded me I am wrong to expect these not to happen, we just are used to them being called something else.  The something else is the change of title of the Senior Pastor or Minister or Reverend to Bishop.  In history we have had popular bishops, one of the most famous is Ambrose of Milan.  He was elected by the leaders of the day, both clergy and governmental and the people.

I am wondering if this is much different from some of the “New Apostolic” leadership we are seeing in some charismatic and Pentecostal circles.  Some people are pastors of thriving churches and others want this person as their bishop.  It does not mean they hear the bishop preach every week but they do hear him regularly as a form of unity.

For those who think this sounds a bit like the Anglican Church or even the Roman Catholic Church you are probably right.  What we often think about these churches is their abuses and deficiencies not why they came about in the first place and what was valued.  Someone else who seems to think that the “New Apostolic” is the “New Episcopal” is Mathew Clark.  A couple of his articles can be found here and here.  Every so often I think the Pentecostal church is repeating everything the early church did as well just in a faster manner.

So what about the self-confessed apostles?  I think they need to stop believing their own press. Yet there are other pastors who end up growing a congregation that is too big for a single service and a single location and ends up becoming a multi-site church.  This still means there needs to be good, or more likely for a larger church excellent pastoral care, at the local level but it is not the bishop who will visit you in hospital but a local leader.

I am willing to admit I get things wrong.  What keeps you humble?

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