10. There's plenty of parking near the building for weekend services.
9. You can always get your favorite seat, or simply ask who is sitting in it to move.
8. The music is always familiar, and never too loud.
7. The pastor has been in everyone's home, and knows everybody's name.
6. You are never asked for money.
5. Phrases like, "We've never done it that way before," "I'm not being faithless, just realistic," "Why pray? God's gonna do what God's gonna do," "If God wants His church to grow it will grow - we don't have to do anything," and "They really should do something about that" are common refrains.
4. You can be confident that whatever change there is will be incremental, insignificant, and will only happen with your direct input and approval.
3. There aren't any of those left-leaning, evolution-believing, gay-marriage supporting, Harry Potter reading pagans daring to attend; just the pro-family, Christian-radio listening, fish-sticker wearing, big-Bible carrying types.
2. The Bible is seldom taught in ways that are uncomfortable or challenging.
1. It is always about you - getting fed, getting ministered to, with services evaluated by what you get out of it.
Yep, there you have it. The top ten signs of... a dying church.
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About Dr. James Emery White
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
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