1. When you go to Las Vegas, Times Square, or New Orleans’ French Quarter, it’s to minister to people in the name of Jesus.
2. When you hear about a church fight, you say, “So, where’s the news?”
3. When you hear of a foreigner thrilled at getting his first Bible, you feel guilty. You own 33 of them.
4. When someone tells you that old joke about the sinking ship and the captain asking someone to do something religious and so the Baptist took up an offering, you say, “So, what’s the joke?”
5. You know at least a dozen funny things that happened during baptismal services.
6. You complain about the pastor’s long sermons, but you would feel cheated by one under 20 minutes.
7. You have at times envied the Episcopalians because their adults don’t have to go to Sunday School.
8. You have sometimes felt superior to the Episcopalians because you know more of your Bible than they do.
9. You think a church building ought to look like a church building.
10. You’d like a little more dignity in your preacher but you suspect he’s getting a little uppity when he wears a robe for weddings.
11. You laugh at jokes about “where you have two Baptists, you have three opinions,” but it touches a nerve and hurts a little.
12. You side with those who believe the Bible just exactly the way it’s written, but you’d like to see them act more like Jesus Christ in the process.
13. You don’t like fancy, written-out public prayers, but somebody ought to help your preacher and the deacons put a little more life and freshness and thought into theirs!
14. You believe every Christian ought to be a witness and even a soul-winner, and feel guilty because you aren’t.
15. You’d do anything to help build church attendance, except actually knock on the door of a newcomer and invite them to Sunday School.
16. When you do knock on their door and invite them, it floods your heart with joy. So much so, in fact, that it lasts for months.
17. You do not believe in little white lies, unless it’s at the church door and you’re telling the pastor what you thought of today’s sermon.
18. You wish they wouldn’t make all those announcements in the church service, but the times when they don’t, you get angry because you didn’t know about an important meeting.
19. You thnk people ought to be tolerant of other denominations and other religions, but how in the world anyone with a lick of sense could be a (fill in the blank here) is beyond you!
20. You treasure the independence of each church, but it does appear the denominational big-shots could straighten out those two churches in our town that have gone (charismatic, independent, liberal, whatever).
21. You hold the hymnal nearly up to the Bible in importance, but it sure is nice when the ministers put the words to the hymns on big screens so everyone can hold their heads up and sing with gusto.
22. You are perfectly willing to adjust your worship style to reach young people today, but you are offended when the preacher decides to deliver the sermon wearing denims and sneakers.
23. You like an occasional ‘amen’ or applause in a worship service, but it must be in moderation. Church should be neither a pep rally nor a funeral.
24. You do not feel like you’ve been to church if they don’t talk about Jesus, read the Scripture, or offer an invitation at the end.
25. You wish some people wouldn’t make you feel guilty about standing around and talking with other members, because fellowship is one of the main reasons you come to church.
A confession here: I grew up Free Will Baptist, the church of my parents; I went to the Methodist church as a child and graduated from a Methodist college; I joined a Southern Baptist church while in college, the denomination in which I’ve served ever since.
All of the above is offered in fun, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Much of it is the type of kidding we Baptists do with one another. I am well aware that much of it would apply in other denominations. You will notice that I avoided all the old lines about bringing casseroles to church. Those are funny, but I tried to find some fresh lines. If at any point, a light of recognition went on in your mind and you said, “Yes! I’m that way,” then I’m amply rewarded.
Feel free to go to the end of this article on our website www.joemckeever.com and leave your comments and suggestions, as well as “fun” ways to tell if “you are a Baptist” or whatever group you are in.