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Hidden, Dangerous, Contagious: 10 Church Diseases You Should Know

4. Professional Wrestling Sickness.

I grew up watching professional wrestling (with my Church of God grandma, no less). Professional wrestling is hero versus villain, right versus wrong, good versus evil—but it’s all fake.

The church with PWS talks a good game in standing for righteousness, but hypocrisy is everywhere. And, as in professional wrestling, most spectators watching the show know it’s fake, too.

5. Program Nausea.

Churches with Program Nausea try a program, toss it soon and then quickly try the next one. They never have a settled “organizational stomach” and direction.

Members of this kind of diseased church are so accustomed to change that they seldom invest in any program. Why should they invest in what will soon be spit out, too?

6. Baby Believer Malady.

This congregation is doing evangelism well, but they have no strategy to grow new believers. Their unwritten, and wrong, assumption is, “As long as you show up for our small groups and worship service, you’ll grow.”

This church disciples poorly and often elevates leaders on the basis of attendance rather than spiritual maturity.

7. Theological Self-Deception Ailment.

I am cautious here, lest I leave the impression that theology does not matter. No church with an unbiblical theology can be healthy. TSDA, on the other hand, is characterized by a belief that teaching theology is all that is required to be a healthy church.

Teaching theology is critical, but a theology that does not lead to intentional evangelism, disciplemaking and global missions is not biblical. Indeed, TSDA congregations tend to be classrooms more than New Testament churches.

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Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.