Thom Rainer posted an article June 15 called “Crisis at County Seat First Church” in which he advocates not giving up on established churches that either have been around for a long time or are otherwise set in their ways, are in decline, and are without a pastor.
The temptation in these churches is to let them be and start another, less moribund congregation. Or, as one state denominational church planting guru said, sometimes encouraging such a church to start a plant itself is the bloodless split it might need.
Yet I agree with Rainer that whatever is left in the established church is worth saving. One problem, however, is the unrealistic standards for pastor these churches set and which lead them to lament the absence of “realistic candidates.”
The types of men these churches most likely need are the types they are unwilling to call, those that are faithful to orthodoxy and denominational distinctives but are not bound to archaic notions of what Christian practice must resemble, and are willing to preach the whole counsel of God without fear, without compromise, and without hesitation.