By TylerR Aug 22 2016 Church LifeThom Rainer: In simple terms, there are four types of churches that will soon die. It is sad to watch the churches in these categories. Some congregations are in more than one category. And some are in all four. 2006 reads There are 4 Comments #3 TylerR - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 6:06pm The church where I pastored was solidly at #3. Any attempt to reign in the main perpetrator was met with outright hostility or cries for "love" and accommodation from well-meaning but deceived people. Very painful for all involved who love the Lord. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? #4 danger Darrell Post - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 8:29pm There is a danger in #4. The church must be faithful to Christ and be willing to be counter-cultural and thereby be salt and light. If the community goes to godless places, the church shouldn't go. If the community doesn't wear adequate clothing, the church should still be clothed. There is no point to raising senseless obstacles between the local church and the local community, but if the principle of interaction begins wth a commitment to follow the culture, then the church will die as it is gradually won over by the world. #3 and #4 Ron Bean - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 10:03pm I've been in numbers 3 and 4. My favorite commentary on a #3 came from a man who lived in the neighborhood. When the new pastor invited him to church he responded by saying, "They can't get along with each other! How the &%$#@ are they going to get along with me?" In #4, the mindset was that "bridge building" or "outreach" of any kind was seen as compromise and labeled in one instance as "friendship with the world". "Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan The trick... Bert Perry - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 9:39am ....in rescuing such a church is, as Tyler notes, to convince a plurality of people that there is a problem. My experience is that 2-4 flow from #1, really--and one would be surprised how #1 expresses itself. You see it in the ELCA with sexuality, and you see it in hyper-fundamentalist circles where the culture gets so strong, it begins to be preached even when the Scripture flatly contradicts it. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.