Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That's it man, game over man, game over! What are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

In the comments section of another post, I was asked the following:
"What do you do when there are no solid churches in your area?"*
I thought it was a good enough question to not only answer, but answer in some detail as I'd be shocked if this problem was isolated.

The way I see it there are 2 options I'd suggest and a 3rd that's possible, with caveats.

1. Move. People move all the time for better schools, better jobs, etc. Why not move for a "better" (i.e., solid) church? Even in this economy, it can be easier to find a good job than a good church.

2. Plant. Ask God to put such a church there.  Prayerfully solicit help from solid churches in support, guidance, and oversight.  Labor to meet with likeminded believers, who might become a church that meets in a home, which is not the same thing as a church that's one family. Over time and after prayerful diligence, I'd be surprised if God didn't raise up converts and other believers.

There may come a time when necessity dictates qualified and called elders/pastors from outside the congregation to be a part of it, but it may be that can come from within. Either way, prioritize biblical teaching and preaching by freeing up some leadership by financially supporting them (cf. 1 Tim 5:17-18).

3. Minimize. Find the "best" option among non-solid churches and try to minimize the theological damage done to your family, all the while hoping and praying for reform in the church, knowing it's VERY unrealistic while not in any position of influence. But, God is omnipotent and may have mercy on that congregation. (The great caveat I have here is the nature of the family. Spiritually mature believers are one thing, it's much more difficult and dangerous to pursue this option with children.) If the church is too far gone or gets that way, see options 1 & 2 above.

*Full comment: "What do you do when there are no solid churches in your area? Stay home. What do you do when you have given every dime you had to a church, served until you dropped to only find out you're in a cult.
Stay home or keep looking.
You may have to develop a new category for this one. No, there are no perfect churches, but I will not be a part of a heretical, non-biblical church.
Color me with those characteristics if you like, but the church is not what it used to be. There are only seeker friendly and charasmatic churches in my area.
Good luck with explaining this category of church hoppers."

Labels: ,


At 15 September, 2011 10:45, Blogger Paul D said...

Gunny - been reading through you blog - great stuff, I've really enjoyed! Regarding this particular post, I wonder if you would consider traveling an hour plus to nearest solid church a legit option. Of course, as soon as that option is voiced folks who live at the ends of the earth or the emissions control police will nix the idea. And it has some disadvanteges long term, but perhaps an option.?

At 15 September, 2011 22:47, Blogger GUNNY said...

Thanks, Paul, for your encouraging words. They are most appreciated.

Being an hour away does have some disadvantages, particularly making it hard to connect in person at times other than Sunday morning.

However, I certainly would not rule out the option. In fact, if the situation was as you describe, I'd bite the bullet and drive the hour.

But, I may be biased.

When I lived in England as a teenager, my bus ride to school was an hour each way 5 days a week.

When I've taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the drive is over 60 miles each way every Monday.

I have folks at church who commute to work an hour each way 5 days a week (though the actual miles are likely less than you're facing).

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying it's ideal by any stretch of the imagination and I'm sure Al Gore will find out about you sooner or later. However, I would keep it as an option and it may be a preferred option, depending on just how spare solid churches are in your area.

Please keep me posted. I'd be curious to hear how events transpire and I'll be praying you find a quality church home.

At 19 September, 2011 08:59, Blogger Paul D said...

thanks Gunny - did not mean to mislead, my family is not actually facing this particular dilemma. We live in the middle of Tulsa and attend a pretty solid church 15 minute drive from home. However, I run across folks who in reality or by means of convenient excuse cannot find a solid church. With the distances people are willing to commute to work I think folks could stand to commute to church, and I sometimes suggest this option. Thanks for the response.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting