Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive

Autopsy of a Deceased Church Ways to Keep Yours Alive No one wants to see a church die And yet far too many churches are dying For than twenty five years Dr Thom Rainer has helped churches grow reverse the trends of decline and has autopsied those th

  • Title: Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive
  • Author: Thom S. Rainer
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • No one wants to see a church die And yet, far too many churches are dying For than twenty five years, Dr Thom Rainer has helped churches grow, reverse the trends of decline, and has autopsied those that have died From this experience, he has discovered twelve consistent themes among those churches that have died Yet, it s not gloom and doom because from those tweNo one wants to see a church die And yet, far too many churches are dying For than twenty five years, Dr Thom Rainer has helped churches grow, reverse the trends of decline, and has autopsied those that have died From this experience, he has discovered twelve consistent themes among those churches that have died Yet, it s not gloom and doom because from those twelve themes, lessons on how to keep your church alive have emerged Whether your church is vibrant or dying, whether you are a pastor or a church member, Autopsy of a Deceased Church will walk you through the radical paths necessary to keep your church alive to the glory of God and advancement of Christ s Kingdom

    One thought on “Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive”

    1. This book makes some good, commonsense observations and points. But I don't think it is a good book, or a book that will ultimately be helpful to most pastors or church members. There are several problems with it: 1) Lack of a clear definition of what a healthy church is. The author seems to be using the usual metrics: numerical growth, budget, outreach to community, etc. But there is no clear definition of what a healthy church is, and still worse, very little interaction with the Scriptural te [...]

    2. Even before he led Lifeway Christian Resources, Thom Rainer spent years as a pastor, seminary professor, and church consultant. In those roles, Dr. Rainer gained a great deal of experience in balancing statistical analysis with real-life, anecdotal evidence to form solid conclusions about what is happening in the church and why. In Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Dr. Rainer puts these skills to good use, helping pastors and church leaders to think about the kinds of symptoms that they need to loo [...]

    3. This is a very small book; however, the author is candid and does not mince words. The topic, though unpleasant, is managed well. It has given me much food for thought, meditation and prayer. Every person who holds membership in a church should read this, in order gauge not only where your church is, but where you are in your personal ministry to the world. This book transcends cultures and denominations- these truths are equal for all churches and people.

    4. Absolutely loved the start to this bookwhat a powerful word picture the author uses to describe what the reader comes to know as a dying church!You say, "Why in the world would I want to read about dying churches?" This book is not so much about dying churches, but observations from the "autopsies" of fourteen churches who had died. Rainer describes the thought of an autopsy as disconcerting and one that no one enjoys. However, in his introduction, he makes a very poignant statement. "The trauma [...]

    5. As individuals we all tend to struggle with being honest with ourselves and our failure to acknowledge the warning signs of spiritual decline. This is true of us as individuals, but also true of churches, their leaders and the congregation. Rainer does an excellent job of outlining the symptoms that lead to church decline and in some cases "death" of a local assembly. I believe this book is both a necessary and a timely read for every church member. The chapters are short and end with discussion [...]

    6. This precise and easy-to-read exposé on how churches die provides simple insights on how to detect slow erosion. After studying similar “common threads,” Thom S. Rainer concludes that many of the churches are (to name a few) holding on to the past (the good old days) too tightly, not looking like their community, controlling an inward focused budget, forgetting about outreach, and rarely praying together.Many of these churches seemed to face a slow death because of a lack of vision and the [...]

    7. This book is a sobering look at what is happening in the churches today - especially, I'm afraid, of the American churches. It's a short little book packed with tons of information. I really liked that at the end of each chapter there are questions we can ask ourselves about our church and our role in it.He starts out by sharing his diagnosis of some churches that he had tried to help and the resistance he came up against. The biggest challenge is that people don't want their church to change - [...]

    8. This is a vital book that all Christian leaders should read RIGHT NOW. Rainer has discovered about 10 symptoms of dying congregations in 14 congregations that he consulted with that eventually closed their doors permanently. In response, Rainer offers 12 tactics that congregations in various stages of health (or decline, depending on your perspective) can implement in order to stay open or make a positive transition into ecclesiastical death. It is a quick read, a couple of days at the most. How [...]

    9. A discussion of ten trouble signs that a church is critically ill, based on Rainer's work as a consultant with many churches. As pastor of a church that is about to close, I can agree with all these indicators and the difficulty of changing the behavior that causes them. I would recommend it for the pastors of churches in decline, not only to read but also to give to leaders who would like their church to choose life. I particularly appreciated his emphasis on encouraging readers to pray first f [...]

    10. Why do churches die? Pastor Rainier lays out se points he pulled together after analyzing and doing research on 14 churches that no longer exist. The reasons are very simple. The reality that your church might be dying and you not know it is sobering. Fortunately - checking yourself against Rainier's "symptoms" may help you before you become terminal, assuming you're not already there. I'd say this book should probably be read more by members than leaders, because the actions and attitudes of a [...]

    11. Once again Dr. Rainer delivers a short and powerful book that serves churches of all ages and sizes well. While we are just getting started in the church planting world, books like this are invaluable to read early on to help provide signposts and warnings that pastors and leadership need to know to look for to avoid the slow death march.The mark of a deceased church that struck me most profoundly was the lack of prayer together in the church body. It was a needed reminder at this stage of churc [...]

    12. A depressing book about churches so dysfunctional that they die.A family member asked me to review it - I hadn't heard of it before.The premise is not very attractive or marketable, but as a pastor of 13 years there is plenty of experiential truth in here.Rainer’s main theme seems to be the need for the church to serve and to look like the community around it. The dying church serves its own members instead of those outside who need to hear the gospel for the first time.An assumption made thro [...]

    13. This is a book that is made to be read with a group. As an individual, I could read it and say, "Hmmm Interesting." But a group reading it together could say "This is revolutionary." Or "This is scary." Or, most importantly, "This is us, and here's what we need to do about it." Dr. Rainer is a qualified "forensic pathologist" when it comes to churches. He has seen enough churches in various stages of decline to be able to speak with authority on when a church is in the death spiral. If you are w [...]

    14. There may not be anyone more in touch with the state of the church in America than Thom Rainer. His podcasts, articles, and books keep urging the church toward her mission. This book, honestly, is a bit depressing. That's something he admits in the book. The information presented that clues leaders in on the symptoms that are present in dying churches - and churches that have already died. It is a very short book. There isn't enough space devoted to helping churches escape the situations that ar [...]

    15. The author makes some excellent points, and I got more out of it as a member (rather than pastor or leader of some kind) than I thought I would. His insight was worth the time. However, I had a harder time getting past the style and tone of the book. It's almost like it was just dictated in a very conversational tone, and never quite fully edited. I found it distracting. I also feel like this book merely scratches the surface of this topic, and could easily have been three times as long. It woul [...]

    16. Much of what Mr. Rainer mentioned could describe the church in which I grew up. We had a rotating pastoral tenure (longest was around five years), and little ministry in the community (of course two church splits likely destroyed any chance of that really happening).When I explained the situation to the last pastor there, he accused me and my parents of being the church troublemakers. Eventually we got tired of his lies about us and we left. (He later had the nerve, when my mother was terminally [...]

    17. A must read for congregations particularly african American congregations striving to remain relevantGOD is still speakingIf your church seems to be at a crossroads and you there is widespread anxiety about your church's future, this book is a helpful tool to start the conversation about how to shape your church for the next generation. It raises hard truths that if prayerfully considered by the church an place you on a path to wholeness. Recommend reading the book in small groups followed by ch [...]

    18. Thom Rainer has written a short winner here. He has looked at 14 churches that have closed and looked for patterns. He found churches that:1. Stopped praying2. Stopped being outward (out of the doors) focused.3. Stopped being vision driven4. Stopped putting money into mission and ministry for othersAnd more. The chapter "The Church Obsessed Over the Facilities" struck so many chords for this pastor. The fights people will have over pulpits, music, paint color, carpet, is unreal and so destructiv [...]

    19. Don’t know where I really want to come down on this. Read 9 Marks of a Healthy Church if you are reading this book. If you are in an UNHEALTHY church, there are other books to read than this Autopsy. There are so many contingencies and variables that are not addressed in this read. It IS short, quick, and probably representative of many churches, especially to those of us who have been within the inner circles.

    20. I read this book a few years ago when it was first published. As expected, it was still just as pertinent today. The target audience is church leadership, asking a few questions at the end of each chapter to aid with a self-examination of your church and yourself. Thom Rainer's position and history within the church make him uniquely qualified to write such a straightforward assessment of our places of worship. Very applicable and eye-opening.

    21. This was a sobering look at a number of churches who died and some of the reasons behind their deaths. As I read the book, I found my mind drifting to different churches I've attended and/or led and was surprised how some had so many of the markers listed in this book. If you're looking for a fun read, this isn't it, but if you're looking to learn the signs of sickness in a church, this is a great place to start.

    22. I enjoyed reading this short yet informative book. The church that I have been a part of for 30 plus years is going through a transitional phase as our pastor has retired and we begin the process of finding a new leader. While reading this, I identified with so many of the topics that the author is discussing. It is my prayer that my church will grow and be better than ever.

    23. This is a short book which can help churches decide whether or not they want to stay stuck in "the good ole' days" or if they're willing to move forward to reach others with the gospel. A lot of sad stories mixed with good stories about how churches which continue on and churches that fizzle out got to where they are.

    24. Great breakdown of familiar issues that can hinder or ultimately stop church growth, progression, and effectiveness. This is a great book for people in church leadership so they can learn a few things on the "what NOT to do" list.

    25. Short and to the point. Rainer surveyed former members of 14 churches that had died. His book is built around reasons the churches died with practical suggestions to help existing churches survive and grow healthy. This would be a helpful resource for starting a discussion among church leaders.

    26. A Must Read for Churches in Danger Thom Rainer gives a forensic look at what kills a church as if he were a coroner. He gives us clear cut symptoms that churches suffer, and prayerful and Scriptural solutions.If your church is in danger, read this book now!

    27. Oddly enough the book could have been longer. However, I could add a star if the book was intended to create personal writing prompts. The book brings up categories that need to be openly talked about to help the church.

    28. Eye openerThis book serves as eye opener for older churches. It also serves to provide ideas to change the course and realize that it is God's church not ours thus we must be willing to move forward and change to serve Him. Even if it is different from our fondest memories.

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