A good podcast here from Chalcedon: it was definitely worth my time, and I think it will be worth yours too!
Blaming vs Healing
One additional comment: they note that some people tend to blame the current weakness of the Church on the pulpit. I am one of those people — “The leader is always responsible” — but even I will grant that they cannot shoulder all of the blame.
People choose the leaders they follow, and so the weakness of the leader is implicitly their weakness as well. “Like priest, like people.”
The weak pastors are derived from the weak (and unbiblical!) seminary system, and the denominational focus on empire-building: making more church members and more churches, as opposed to expanding the Kingdom of God.
But as North would rightfully declare, you can’t replace something with nothing. It does no good to whine, without building a replacement.
I don’t think that I can come up with a replacement with the current, rotting church structure: that takes concentrated, prayerful thought and real leadership skills with a whole host of committed brothers and sisters.
As such, I will continue to attend my church without complaint to the local elders.
But I will strive to be more charitable to the needy myself, and to encourage the birth of something better than today’s failing, broadly sterile denominational structure. I refuse to merely fold my hands, and let the church die without notice, complaint and criticism.
But better still would be constructive action on my part.
And that personal repentance and concentrated, prayerful thought and meditation would be good too!