Eight Signs That Point to Probable Church Death

Episode #337
June 16, 2017
Rainer on Leadership Podcast Logo

Podcast Episode #337

These eight signs are almost always evident in churches that are on their way to death. Does your church exhibit any of these?

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Blogs create fans, podcasts create family.
  • Four consecutive years of decline indicate a problem that must be addressed.
  • If your congregation is mostly senior adults, you’re only a few funerals away from closing the church doors.
  • Don’t sit and expect younger people to come to your church. You have to work to connect with them.
  • In churches that are on their way to death, members often fight fiercely for their preferences.
  • One of the most sacred cows in dying churches is the parlor.

The eight issues we cover are:

  1. There has been a numerical decline for four or more years.
  2. The church does not look like the community in which it is located.
  3. The congregation is mostly comprised of senior adults.
  4. The focus is on the past, not the future.
  5. The members are intensely preference-driven.
  6. The budget is severely inwardly focused.
  7. There are sacred cow facilities.
  8. Any type of change is met with fierce resistance.

Episode Sponsors

mbts_banner1_rainerThe Timothy Track, from Midwestern Seminary, offers select residential M.Div. students placement in internship positions in a local church in the area. Now you can complement your studies with in-the-field ministry experience. In addition, all Timothy Track students will receive up to 12 credit hours for the internship and a 50% tuition scholarship for the first year.

Find out more at mbts.edu/TimothyTrack.

Vanderbloemen Search GroupVanderbloemen Search Group is the premier pastor search firm dedicated to helping churches and ministries build great teams. Their Fall Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor Coaching Networks are now open for registration, and our very own Dr. Rainer will be speaking at the Fall Lead Pastor Coaching Network.

So if you’re a Lead Pastor or an Executive Pastor looking for peer roundtable coaching, check it out at vanderbloemen.com/coaching. It’s limited to 16 folks, so apply today before it fills up.


If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here on Church Answers.

Resources Mentioned in Today’s Podcast