What do you do when there are no solid churches in your area?

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. Consider yourself a missionary in a dark land and set about God’s task of putting a church there. Labor to that end and meet with likeminded believers as able as 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 a qualified and called elder/pastor from outside the congregation to be a part of it, but there’s no rule that says that can’t come from within.

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.”


About Eric "Gunny" Hartman

Gunny is pastor of Providence Church in Plano, TX, and has taught at Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has completed coursework for a PhD in Rhetoric at University of Texas at Arlington and tries to be a good father to his 4 kiddos, exhibited by coaching a girls soccer team.


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