We live in a fairly barren area for churches and the proclamation of the Word of God. There is a fairly fast-growing seeker-sensitive church nearby (Rick Warren is quoted more often than Jesus), a few tiny SBC churches in the small towns around the fringes of our Southwest PA town, and several ginormous mainline, empty churches in town. The area is predominately Roman and Eastern Catholic (former coal mining area), with a wide swath of fringe churches ("Apostle Joe", House of Healing, etc). We've lived here 7 years and for the last 6 have attended an ABC church. Ministry opportunities are limited, the weekly preaching is marginally edifying, and the church is slowly disintegrating (we have about 1/2 the active membership now than 5 years ago. The vast majority of members on the roll have not attended in years. Our Sunday attendence hovers at 120). There is no outreach, no missions, and no encouragement of subordinate leaders. My wife is done -- she asks nearly every week, "Why are we still attending here?" I've been less ready to jump ship because I was teaching the adult Sunday School class and there was a core group that seemed to be getting it and actually growing as they studied. But most are more than happy to check the "attended church" block and move on with life. I've been able to preach 3 times this year, and each time have received sincere thanks, etc. One person said this week, "If you ever start a church -- we're there! #### said he could listen to you all day!" I was embarassed but flattered, but I know this couple has issues with the current pastor (though they are not alone -- currently the pastor's wife is not speaking to about half the congregation, and the pastor exchanges mere pleasantries out of duty). My father-in-law, who is an SBC pastor and attended last time I filled the pulpit, told me my sermon on 1 Cor 5 was "the best exposition of that passage I've ever heard -- I'm not lyin' and I've heard plenty!" and that I had definately "missed my calling." So now I'm perplexed. I feel like I have nothing to do (no sermon to prepare -- even though I have a very complex FT job as a Project manager/ engineer), and no place to minister. I can continue teaching Adult Sunday School, but preaching is much more -- I dunno -- it's a cut above (and I am NOT demeaning teachers! I have a Secondary Ed minor, taught HS for 5 years, and still hear from students -- 20 years later!). Starting a church would be exciting, and we could emphasize so many missing elements in our current ministries (we have NO African-Americans in our current congregation -- shame!), preach and teach the Word, encourage people to shoulder the burden and grow and learn to lead. My wife would jump at the opportunity, and we have several families that would likely follow us. But it would be wrong to split a church, wrong to step outside supervision, and wrong to claim *I* have it together while *you* obviously don't. Thus my dilemna. I'm new to this board and don't know any of you, so I won't be making any decisions based on responses, but the only other folks I know that I can talk to about this have given me opinions ("Go for it"). I'd like to factor out the bias. FWIW, here's a BRIEF background -- Grew up Roman Catholic, saved at 12 in a Pentecostal church (was still attending RC School then, and was refused the Eagle Scout 2 years later for "Evidence of Lack of faith in God" for not attending the sponsor RC church), 21 years service (10 years Air Force enlisted, 11 years Army officer) OCS honor grad, BA in History from Houghton College in 2 1/2 years, 5 years as a HS Teacher at a Christian School, various terms as elder and deacon in various churches, about 20 years as a teacher in Adult Sunday Schools, fluent in French, and convinced Calvinist, but not willing to make it a point of battle for every believer (It took me 30 years -- why shouldn't I give everyone else that much time?). We've been married 28 years, have 3 grown children and one grandchild.