Video replay allows preacher to pastor two services at once
Just because it's shown on a video screen doesn't mean it's not the real thing.
The north branch of the Yuba City Church of the Nazarene is the result of an innovative experiment church leaders embarked on, proving the church can continue to grow when its facility has reached full capacity.
The new north campus church on Blevin Road, a few miles north of the main church on North George Washington Boulevard, is similar to its counterpart in many ways.
“Basically, we've transferred the DNA from this church to the north campus,” said outreach pastor Mike Voudouris.
The north branch, which meets inside Butte Vista Elementary School north of Butte House Road, is staffed by Yuba City Nazarene Church pastors and music ministers. They have the same beliefs. They sing the same songs. And they hear the exact same sermon.
It's just delivered a little differently, it's shown on a video screen.
The pastor's message is recorded at the main church during the 8 a.m. service where it also is projected on large video screens. Then the DVD is taken to the north campus for a 10 a.m. service. After worship and an introductory message at the north branch, the sermon is played back on an 8-by-12-foot video screen.
“The video venues give us the opportunity to continue to have room to grow,” said senior pastor Gary Moore. “To us, it's a fourth service.”
Yuba City Church of the Nazarene's has tripled in size in three years to about 2,000 members.
Pastors said of the three Sunday services, the 9:30 a.m. service was the one maxing out. They didn't want to turn people away.
“This summer we got together and prayed about it and talked about it,” Moore said.
The pastors found out about a multi-site church movement happening across the country and thought it might work for them.
The north branch has been in operation for five weeks, and the video-venue idea seems to have caught on.
“I was interested in how it would work because I just couldn't imagine how it might be,” said Lucy Campbell, a north branch church member.
“I was amazed at how personal it seemed,” she said.
When the pastor on the screen says, “Let's rise,” members at the north branch rise. When the pastor says, “Let's pray,” the congregation prays.
“It doesn't take long to get over the fact that it's a screen,” Moore said.
Church leaders hope to not-only carry over members from the main branch, but attract new members from the neighborhood around Blevin Road as well.
“People are finding a home that never have stepped into the other location,” Moore said.
Members of the new branch seem to enjoy the new intimate church setting.
“You get to be part of a big church but in a small church atmosphere,” said music minister Bob Best.
The north branch congregation of about 75 members enjoys conversing before and after services.
“In a big church you really don't have this kind of opportunity to meet people,” Campbell said.