I just came across this post from the excellent 9 Marks blog, where they interviewed the pastor of a church in Tennessee that ‘disciplined’ 575 of its ‘members’.
I’m not 100 per cent sold on the Baptist model of church membership, but I have to admit that the Anglican denomination (of which I’m part) has been very weak in the important area of church discipline. It’s not true of every Anglican church, but unfortunately it’s true of many.
Whatever you think about Baptist membership models, insights like this are really helpful: “Inactive membership is contrary to what the New Testament teaches about the life of the church.” Or, to put it another way, ‘inactive membership’ is a contradiction in terms when it comes to church. Now isn’t that what a lot of people in churches today need to hear?
If you’re reading this and have any thoughts on church membership and/or church discipline, I’d be very interested to read them.