Mega-church superstar pastor Andy Stanley has made, perhaps, the most giant leap forward in modernizing the contemporary Evangelical church-he's taking the term "satellite church" literally.
"We will move all of our satellite campus locations into outer-space over the next 3 years," said Stanley in a multi-site satellite video announcement this past Sunday.
"The church has to stop using confusing terms from the past, and I want our church to be literal when we use the word satellite-otherwise, that word needs to go away." said the pastor, author and church growth expert.
This news from Andy Stanley shouldn't be too surprising to those already familiar with his forward-thinking leadership. When asked in a 2006 interview if churches should stop referring to pastors as shepherds he said this:
"Absolutely. That word needs to go away. Jesus talked about shepherds because there was one over there in a pasture he could point to. But to bring in that imagery today and say, "Pastor, you're the shepherd of the flock," no. I've never seen a flock. I've never spent five minutes with a shepherd. It was culturally relevant in the time of Jesus, but it's not culturally relevant any more. Nothing works in our culture with that model except this sense of the gentle, pastoral care. Obviously that is a face of church ministry, but that's not leadership." (Yes, he really did say this.)
So, in Andy Stanley's never-ending drive to be updated and modern, it only makes sense for North Point Ministries to turn satellite churches into actual satellite churches.
When questioned about the estimated $97 billion cost of moving these satellite churches into outer space, Andy Stanley said he's been getting "very useful fund-raising advice" from Joel Osteen and is certain that "with God's help, we can be an effective tool for leading the church into the future-and into outer space."