Recent Reads: Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom Rainer

Jen Bradbury
Jul 28 · 5 min read


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.