This is part two of a two-part post about church membership and discipline. If you haven’t read part one yet, you should do so before continuing on. It lays a helpful foundation for what follows.
The Case for Church Discipline
Discipline often has a negative connotation in our minds, but in reality, that’s not always the case. Athletes discipline their body to become better at their sport. Students discipline their minds in order to learn and grow in understanding. Disciples discipline their lives in order to follow their teacher’s teaching. So, in its broadest term, discipline simply means formation or training. Thus, when we talk about Church discipline, we’re actually talking about what church membership most naturally necessitates: helping one another grow up in love, maturity, and sanctification — you can not have genuine church discipline without meaningful church membership. Discipline means helping one another more accurately display the gospel and character of God in their lives in order that the church itself will be a better display of the gospel. Let’s look at this briefly in a little more detail.
What is Church Discipline? How the Church protects the name of Jesus
Church discipline is the process of correcting sin in the church. It’s how sin is addressed by church members. And it is always formative. That means it is always working to press us and shape us into Christlikeness. Therefore, church discipline may be both positive and negative.