Autopsy of a Deceased Church

Episode #007
October 26, 2017
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What does it look like inside a dying church? Today we cover 11 characteristics of dying churches and how those have changed over the past few years.

Today’s Listener Question:


In the three years since you wrote and released Autopsy of a Deceased Church, what have you learned from church leaders as it relates to your 11 points in the book?

Episode Highlights:

  • Dying churches are doing so now at a quicker rate than ever before.
  • Urban and suburban churches die at a quicker pace than rural churches.
  • If you want your church to look like its community, the leadership must reflect the community.
  • So much of what churches do is done just to maintain the organization.
  • You cannot pay your way out of the Great Commission. You have to actually do it.

The 11 characteristics of deceased churches that we cover in this episode are:

  1. Slow erosion
  2. The past is the hero
  3. The church refuses to look like the community
  4. The budget moves inwardly
  5. The Great Commission becomes the Great Omission
  6. The preference-driven church
  7. Pastoral tenure decreases
  8. No praying together
  9. No clear purpose
  10. Obsession over facilities
  11. Neglect of facilities

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Revitalize & Replant is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and More than 10% of churches in North America are at risk of closing and the North American Mission Board is committed to reversing this trend by decreasing the death rate of existing churches while simultaneously increasing the birth rate of new churches. To learn more about what it means to become a replanting pastor or to explore resources for replanting and revitalization in your own church, visit

Submit Your Question:

Do you have a question about church revitalization or replanting for us to use on the podcast? Visit the podcast page to submit your question. If we use it on the show, you’ll get a copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church and Reclaiming Glory.