Six Symptoms of a Dysfunctional Church

Episode #071
September 12, 2014
Rainer on Leadership Podcast Logo

Podcast Episode #071

This week cover symptoms often found in dysfunctional churches. As I state in the preface to the podcast, the list is not meant to be critical but eye-opening. There is hope for our churches, and that hope is found in Christ.

Some highlights from the episode:

  • If there are severe theological errors in a church, it may no longer be a true church.
  • Force-terminated pastors are too common.
  • The average tenure of a pastor is about 3.5 years.
  • There is a misperception that unchurched people are not receptive to invites to church. That is simply not true.
  • Churches that are “family-owned and operated” are often among the ones that close each year.
  • If you ever look for a perfect church, you will not find it.

The six symptoms of a dysfunctional church that we cover are:

  1. Severe theological errors are pervasive in the church.
  2. The church is known as a “pastor-eater.”
  3. The congregation experiences severe conflict.
  4. Hardly anyone in the community knows the church exists.
  5. The church is declining while the community is growing.
  6. The church is “family owned and family operated.” 

Episode Sponsor

This week’s podcast is brought to you by the HCSB Bible. Taking into account the significant advancements in scholarship, translation theory, and contemporary English usage, the HCSB will satisfy both those new to the faith and seasoned scholars. Visit for more information.


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