Six Often Unseen Signs of a Declining Church

Episode #006
October 19, 2017
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Revitalization is needed in many churches today but churches often do not see the needs. Today, we cover sign unseen signs that churches in need of revitalization exhibit.

Today’s Listener Question:


I’ve been in ministry for a little over 13 years and have done a little consulting on the side. I know you have a history of doing consultations as well. Other than demographics and stats, what are the signs that you look for in consultations to determine if a church is dying or just plateaued.

Episode Highlights:

  • If your church is going to fulfill the Great Commission, go where the people are. Don’t expect them to come to you.
  • Often the first areas that get funding cuts in dying churches are the same ones that would be vital to future growth.
  • Numerous, successive short pastorates are often a sign of a very unhealthy church.

The six signs that we cover in this episode are:

  • Sign 1: The commute
  • Sign 2: Worn out ministries
  • Sign 3: Declining ministry funds for children and students
  • Sign 4: Culturally comfortable conversations
  • Sign 5: The pastoral parade
  • Sign 6: The 1988 facility

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.