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Posted July 27, 2014
I'm a church girl. I was probably in church the Sunday after I was born. I grew up going every time the doors were open. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the church. Vacation Bible School, Backyard Bible Club, Girls in Action, Church Camp, youth group and dozens of others fill my mind when I think back on those years. I met and married my beloved in our church. We've raised our kids in church and are now watching our kids raise their kids in church.
Several years ago something disturbing came to our attention. We had gone back to our hometown for a funeral and spent some time wandering around looking at and reminiscing about our growing up years. We drove by the church of our youth and were stunned and saddened to see it abandoned and up for sale. What had happened to the once thriving and dynamic congregation that we remembered?
Recently I was given a copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church to read and review. I wasn't really sure that it would be a book that would appeal to the masses but the title had me intrigued so I gave it a read. I was completely wrong in my preconceived notions. This is a book that every church member needs to read. Dying churches aren't just the problem of the preacher and the church staff. It is a problem that we all need to open our eyes to.
Through the pages of the book I could clearly see what had happened with the church of my youth. The signs were there the whole time. Granted we weren't there when the final nail was placed in the coffin, but the death process had been a slow but steady one. It was a process that was happening even back in the day. But like most of these churches we ignored the signs and chose to look the other way.
One of the things that I like best about this book is that it isn't a doomsday missive. Instead it is full of useful information about how to change the inevitable. I came away from this book with a renewed love for the church and the knowledge that I am part of the body that breathes life into it. If you are part of a church I would urge you to pick up a copy of this book and read it and apply it then pass it on to another member. With the directions contained we can make a difference so that generations to come will have a place like we did and do to be nurtured and loved. Forgive my paraphrase but, without the church the people will perish!
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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Posted November 30, 2014
Like others who have commented I have also been in church all my life, and I am 57 years old. Over the last 7 years I have been researching church growth and the condition of the church in America. It has been an enlightening and heartbreaking journey. Tom Rainer has written many books and I would recommend Millennial's highly as a resource related to this subject. While the church is losing all demographics the future does lie with the young and we are losing them by a shocking percentage. To help older Christian understand the need for change the best book I have found is Who Stole My Church by Gordon McDonald. My own church is going through this needed change and I liken it to "pushing a rope up hill". The biggest problem I am seeing is that leadership does not want to have open and honest discussions about the needed change and educate the whole church both young and old. The fact are undisputable but understanding them and allowing Gods Holy Spirit to guide people is what is needed. This is another great book by Tom Rainer that should be read by all churches.
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Posted September 26, 2014
Posted December 31, 2014
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