Thinking Out Loud

June 27, 2019

Dying Churches

Earlier this morning I noted on Twitter that our #2 click on the link collection yesterday was an article by J.D. Greear, The One Thing That Can Reverse Any Church’s Decline. Apparently, even though I teased that one very briefly, it resonated enough to produce some clicks.

Last night I also finished reading Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer. This 2014 title is one in a series of several little hardcover books by Rainer which retail for $12.99, but church leaders can pick them up in bulk for only $5.00; of which I Am A Church Member is probably the best known. At only about 90 pages, it’s a quick read.

Rainer researched 14 churches that had died and looked for the common elements, so the resulting publication is anecdotal, but also prescriptive. Definitely not a feel-good book, but many readers will probably think of their own stories of churches which have been on, or currently are on the same path.

So definitely a cautionary tale. I’m not sure if following Rainer’s advice can reverse the fortunes of such churches (vis-a-vis the Greear article) or simply slow down the process.

These are challenging times.

Will the stress and strain being felt by small(er) churches eventually hit the megachurches?…

…For the small church pastor, I don’t know a better person to get to know than Karl Vaters who arrived at Christianity Today just weeks after the Wednesday Link List was cut loose. His blog at CT is called Pivot, and he very consistently is turning out some of the best material on church life you can read. Many of the articles also appear at if you prefer to check them out there. I also encourage you to follow him on Twitter.

What you clicked this week:
1. The Ed Stetzer thing
2. J.D. Greear on reversing church decline
3. Ravi Zacharias. – another person comes forward
4. The body image economy (the first link)
5. Baptist to Pentecostal
6. Anti-LGBTQ conference



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