Some churches are dying, but they have not realised it just yet. So how do you tell the difference between a growing and a dying church? Thom Rainer has seen his fair share of that and likes to share his insights with the world through this book.
Rainer points out 12 pointers that he find that are common in the dying or already dead churches he has encountered. This book is insightful in that Rainer helps the readers see some of these tell-tale signs of such churches. Often, I see signs and symptoms of these things within my own church too. And this is the clear strength and purpose of this book, it helps readers to see what where the church has started to deviate — ever so tiny — from what the bible teaches.
I found the chapters on budget, the great commission and preference especially for my own church. Yes, this book has helped me see my church with new eyes, with a new health report. My church is not fine, but there’s still hope. We still can change what’s wrong.
Rainer after listing what are the signs and symptoms, then proposes some solutions for the various kind of churches. Most of them are quite straightforward, and practical. But I found the proposal for the most drastic church (the dying church) the hardest to swallow. Rainer proposed that for some of these churches, it might be better for them to close down and re-divert their resources to other churches in the area that are thriving. Although it is a hard pill to swallow, it might really be the one advice that is necessary to follow.
What is lacking in this book is negligence on the doctrines of the church. Even though this is not a book that focuses on doctrines, yet there are some churches that falter due to shifts in their theological stance. Perhaps a short chapter to address it, would be good.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.