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Tom Rainer: Autopsy of a Dead Church

10. The members idolized another era.

All of the active members were over the age of 67 the last six years of the church. And they all remembered fondly, to the point of idolatry, was the era of the 1970s. They saw their future to be returning to the past.

11. The facilities continued to deteriorate.

It wasn’t really a financial issue. Instead, the members failed to see the continuous deterioration of the church building. Simple stated, they no longer had “outsider eyes.”

Though this story is bleak and discouraging, we must learn from such examples. As many as 100,000 churches in America could be dying. Their time is short, perhaps less than ten years.

What do you think of the autopsy on this church? What can we do to reverse these trends?

If you were impacted by this article on the autopsy of a dead church, you may find Ed Stetzer’s article of interest.


This article on the autopsy of a dead church originally appeared here, and is used by permission.