“So what did the deceased churches cling to? What did they refuse to let go of facing certain death?
“Worship styles were certainly on the list. As were fixed orders of worship services, And times of worship service.
“Some stubbornly held on to buildings and rooms, particularly if that room or building was a memorial, named for one of the members of the past.
“Some would not accept any new pastor except that one pastor who served thirty years ago.
“But more then any one item, these dying churches focused on their own needs instead of others. They looked inwardly instead of outwardly. Their highest priorities were the way they’ve always done it, and that which made them the most comfortable.
“It was not just the past they revered. It was their personal good old days.”
“God, give me the conviction and the courage to be like the heroes of Hebrews 11. Teach me not to hold onto those thing in my church that are my personal preferences and styles. Show me not only how to let go, but where to let go, so that I may heed Your commands more closely.”
An excerpt from “Autopsy of a Deceased Church” by Thom Rainer