Autopsy of a Deceased Church  is well worth reading!  Thom S. Rainer did an excellent job showing symptoms of sick and dying churches, and 12 ways to keep them alive.

The book was a result of this blog post in 2013.
There are also two podcasts about this topic:​   005 and 006

I would encourage you to read the blog post and listen to both of the podcasts.

My Lead Pastor gave me his copy of this book to read, and I started it right away. And finished it the next day.  It is that good.  I gave it to my wife to read, and within a few hours she had finished it.  He also ordered copies for each Board Member to read.

Read this book !  Really, it is that important!

Your church may be growing by leaps and bounds.
Great!  This book can give you ideas to help your church stay on top.  You need to read this book!

There are 14 chapters.  Each one is short but full of help.  At the end of each chapter is a Prayerful Commitment as well as a few Questions for Further Thought.

I was so impressed with the Prayerful Commitments I put them on a background and posted them to my Instagram and Facebook.  The questions are helpful and searching. They would be useful in a small group setting. I pray them often.

Of the different signs of a declining church, three really jumped out at me.  One was the fact that most have no clear purpose. Another was the fact that most had turned from being outward focused to inward focused.  But the one that hit me the hardest was that they quit praying together.  What little prayer they did do was not authentic. "No prayer. No hope. And the church started dying." (68)

"Prayerful Commitment 9
Lord, teach me to pray.  Teach me to pray consistently.  Teach me to be a leader in prayer in my church.  And teach me to keep passionate and believing prayer as the lifeblood of this church." (68)

This book has reinforced my desire to go deeper into prayer.  Thank you Thom!  Thank you Lord!  

You can find out more about Thom Rainer, his books, blog, and podcasts at his website:
I read 30 Days to A More Dynamic Prayer Life, Making God Your Focus , first.  I read it over the course of 30 days as outlined in the book.  Ginny read it at the same time.  It has helped us in our quest for a more intimate prayer life.  John Franklin (no relation by the way) outlines seven themes.  The first two are The Three Foundations of Prayer, and God Trains You. The last five are a five-fold prayer format: Focus on God, Respond from the Heart, Seek First the Kingdom, Present Your Requests, and Close in Joy.  These are implemented in each daily prayer lesson.

In the opening pages of the book John says: "The two most common subjects of your prayer life will be knowing God and asking for kingdom purposes." (21)  If the Church could truly grasp that, what a difference we would see in our prayer lifes and in the Church around the world!  

I highly recommend this book.  I will read it again soon.  

I also recommend another of John's books: And The Place Was Shaken, How to Lead a Powerful Prayer Meeting .  I just finished it today.  So many great helps!  I underlined and highlighted a lot!

This book is more for people who feel called to lead a prayer meeting.  He talks about The Priority of Praying Together, as well as several aspects of what the leader should do.  John tells us "You must help the people of God wrap their hearts around God's heart." and "God by nature cannot be impersonal."(98)  Oh if we become more personal with God!

John hits home when he asks, "When was the last time you remember the manifest presence and power of God on a regular basis in your midweek prayer meeting?"(177)

Both of these books are excellent resources! Read them and use them!

You can find out more about John Franklin, his books, and other resources at his webite:
Thank you John! Thank you Lord!