Rainer, High Expectations


Thom S. Rainer, High Expectations: The Remarkable Secret for Keeping People in Your Church. Broadman and Holman, 1999.

Referenced in: Welcoming and New Member Ministry Summary

Reflective of Rainer’s skill as a researcher, this is based on a study of 287 Southern Baptist churches that compared the practices of higher-assimilation churches with lower-assimilation churches. While there were many factors that contributed to “closing the back door” (e.g. Sunday School, visitor follow-up, new member classes, prayer, leadership, deep and sound doctrine), one consistent theme emerged: Effective assimilation churches had high expectations of all of their members. This book presents the findings of the research and many practical ideas on how to translate the findings into the life of any church. Full of charts, graphs, and checklists. Although more than a decade has passed since this research, the information is still pertinent for established churches set within relatively stable communities.

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

From the Publisher

For over a quarter of a century the problem of losing church members has progressively increased. Today the situation is so bad that less than one-third of the members in some churches attend worship services. Church leaders are crying for help. In an effort to help church leaders, the Billy Graham School of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary conducted a massive research project involving nearly 287 churches. The most revealing aspect of the study was that the higher expectations placed on members, the greater the likelihood that the members would stay and be involved with the church. Using the data gathered from this project, Thom Rainer presents the first-ever comprehensive study about ‘closing the back door.’ Rainer looks at why people are leaving the church and how church leaders can keep the members.

About the Author

Thom S. Rainer (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Transformational Church, Essential Church, and Simple Church.

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