(Book Review of, Autopsy of a Deceased Church. part 1)
I’ll confess, at first I was expecting Rainer’s book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, to be a regular church growth book that would follow the normal predictable agenda of many others.
First, I should admit my bias. This is not reported a church growth book. That was my judgment of the book.
Second, I must admit my skeptic tendencies. It is unfair of me to assume that a book written by the CEO of a publishing house is attempting to persuade me to buy another product. I have a growing disdain for charlatans who peddle their goods to churches in a way that appears to put trust in their product, agenda, program rather than in the sufficiency of Jesus, the bride-groom of the church.
Third, I confess I love the Lord’s church dearly and I’m very concerned for her. I have no voice to any other local representation of the Lord than the very church I pastor and preach in week in and week out. She is of great interest to me, and at the same time I have a vested interest in the gospel work in the church at large. I realize that my zeal may blind me at times, and may even mislead my leading. That’s scary for this pastor to see and admit.
Thom Rainer has my attention. The introduction was technically well written; but more than this, he’s asked some questions that appear to be fair and helpful.
Just as the apostle Paul compares the church body to the human body (1 Corinthians 12) Rainer has put the (deceased) church body on the autopsy table. He describes it as uncomfortable to look at and difficult to accept the results. I felt like he was using care and caution with the buzz word “change”. This was my most appreciated sentiment I heard from him in the intro.
It’s as though I’m in the observation point, watching a skilled and compassionate physician/scientist looking for the problem with hope to share with others his findings so they might avoid some things and do other things.