Autopsy of a Deceased Church Chapter 12

Chapter 12 –

Today is our twelfth installment from Thom Rainer’s Autopsy of a Deceased Church – 12 ways to Keep Yours Alive. I will share his thoughts as presented in his book for our consideration.

My Church has Symptoms of Sickness: Four Responses

“Though this book is brief, the path to get to this point must seem arduous. A lot of negative information has been communicated up to this point. There is no magical, easy fix solutions.”

He concludes his book with “twelve responses which are not a recipe to create or repair the perfect church. To the contrary they are more of a cry to God to intervene and create a willingness on the part of the church members to be obedient.”

“What are the symptoms of sickness?”

  • They are likely to have shown decline over the past five years. Many leaders quit looking at the numbers when they begin to decline. When numbers are ignored, they tend to get worse.
  • The ministries and the programs for these churches tend to be shifting more and more for members of the congregation rather than those outside. They are moving to an inward focus.
  • There is no disciple-making taking place.
  • Finally, the church has a lot of program and ministry clutter.

He offers these four responses they are not quick fix solutions.

  1. Pray that God will open the eyes of the leadership and members for opportunities to reach the community where the church is located.
  2. Take an honest audit of how church members spend their time being involved.
  3. Take an audit of how the church spends its money.
  4. Make specific plans to minister and evangelize your community.


Lord, let me see my church with honesty and open eyes. Help me grasp where we have gotten out of balance with inward and outward ministries. And give our church a vision to make a difference in our community. Even more, God, use me to be a catalyst and instrument for changes that must take place in our church.

Questions –

  1. There are four symptoms of sickness listed does Asbury show any of those signs. Why or why not?
  2. Summarize the four responses for churches that are showing signs of sickness. What responses could be added to these four?
  3. What is the context of Acts 1:8? How can it be applicable and relevant to churches today with signs of sickness?

Published by Pastor Larry

I came to Asbury in June 2020 right after COVID and enjoy being in this great church. We have several things going on that can be seen on our website @ We invite you to attend our service at 2704 South Highway W in Foley, MO. I am confident you will be blessed.

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