The nice thing about "branding" is that it helps you know what you are in for. I know when I walk into Starbucks, that I can get a good cup of coffee.
I had an experience when I was planting where a girl attended our church when visiting her parents. She liked the music, the style, etc. When she returned to her college town, she visited the local church from the same denomination. The difference was they were one step away from pulling out snakes. She thought she was getting the same thing across the board (which is what a denomination should bring to the table). I don't mean to say we can't or shouldn't have variance. It would have been nice to not have to say, "Well, there are some very big differences..."
In relating this to our discussion, I think it is okay to brand a local church, to create an atmosphere and environment. The key, though, is to train up leaders from within that embody that style, message, etc and let them plant new churches. To be honest, I don't know what the difference between a multi-site campus and television/web viewing really is. It can reduce the Sunday morning gathering to "great" preaching.
December 1, 2006
Conversations with a Future Church Planter pt. 4
Here is part 4 in our series: Conversations with a Future Church Planter. This is an e-mail conversation between me and a Friend. Here is the rest of the series. Here is my response: