Recent Reads: Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer


What the book's about: Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer uses research to analyze what factors contribute to the death of a church and in contrast, keep congregations alive. 

Why I read this book: When I spoke on The Jesus Gap at Faith Forward, a number of other speakers positively referenced Autopsy of a Deceased Church. When my student leaders asked to focus on the future of the church during our summer discussions, I decided to read Autopsy of a Deceased Church in preparation for our conversation. 

My favorite quotes from the book:

- "Dying churches are concerned with self-preservation."   

- "In dying churches the last expenditures to be reduced are those that keep the members most comfortable." 

- "When the church is engaged in meaningful prayer, it becomes both the cause and the result of greater church health." 

Who I'd recommend this book for: Those in church leadership who are wrestling with the future of their church will find Autopsy of a Deceased Church helpful. It's length makes it an accessible, quick read for both professional and lay leaders alike. That said, not all will agree with Rainer's Biblical exegesis. Despite this, his conclusions are worth consideration for those committed to maintaining a vibrant, healthy congregation for years to come. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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