Book Review: Autopsy of a Deceased Church by Thom S. Rainer

Title: Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive
Author: Thom S. Rainer
Genre: Christian Non-Fiction
Publisher: B&H Books
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Format: Kindle
Pages: 102
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Synopsis: No one wants to see a church die. And yet, far too many churches are dying. For more 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!


I found this book to be quite interesting and eye opening.  I'd always wondered what could possibly cause a particular church location to shut its doors and now I have a fairly good idea of what those reasons are.

Rainer doesn't sugar coat the truth about why churches die. While to someone who might be a member of a dying church might see this as Rainer being a jerk, he really isn't. He's telling it like it is - this is a fairly apt description of what is killing your church and here are some ways you can fix it.

I like that the book doesn't just cover what's wrong with a dying church but also gives ways in which it can be fixed–or in the case of a church that is clearly dying and unable to be turned around, how it can die with dignity. I'll admit some of the suggestions made me curious–especially the ones for how to allow your church to die with dignity–because in all honesty, I see some of the signs of a church that is becoming ill in the church my roommates attend.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone who feels their church may be on the path to death. This book is a great tool for pastors and congregations to help determine what stage a church is in and how to reverse it if possible.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

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