The Three Most Common Sentences in Dying Churches

Episode #010
November 2, 2017
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Churches headed toward the end of their lives have something in common—you’ll likely hear these sentences from members. Mark Clifton joins us to talk about how to react when you do hear these.

Today’s Listener Question:


I just began my first pastorate at a church that needs revitalizing. Everyone has been great so far, but I’ve listened to Rainer on Leadership enough to know that will change eventually. What are some buzzwords or phrases that should raise some red flags for me and how do I respond?

Episode Highlights:

  • Dying churches often don’t make wise decisions.
  • “We’ve never done it that way before” is just another way of saying “I don’t want to change.”
  • Get people to change by giving them something more valuable to enjoy that what they’re holding onto.
  • Is your church really there for its community?

The three sentences that we cover in this episode are:

  1. “We’ve never done it that way before.”
  2. “Our pastor doesn’t visit enough.”
  3. “People know where our church is if they want to come here.”

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.