How should church leaders present the “care list” to the congregation in matters of corrective discipline?

9Marks
Explain what the care list is, especially for newer members. Teach briefly about church discipline, possibly by reading Matthew 18:15-17. Remind the church that love should be the church’s motivation, and nothing else. Present the person’s name and why they’re being mentioned. Explain the nature of the sin very judiciously.Typically, details are not necessary. Explain how the unrepentant sinner has already been approached. What actions have occurred?

What are the advantages of having a “care list” for cases of corrective discipline?

9Marks
A care list cuts out the shock value of corrective discipline. Presenting a person’s name to the congregation months before a possible act of discipline enables the church to better pray and reach out to that person. It also prepares themselves for the sobering and sad act of excluding the individual from the Lord’s Supper.

What is a church “care list”?

9Marks
A “care list” is a tool for accomplishing two purposes: (i) it alerts church members of fellow-members who are in extra need of care or correction; (ii) it prepares a congregation for a possible case of public corrective discipline. Specifically, it’s a list of names which the church leaders announce to the church’s members. Sometimes members undergoing special trials (medical, spiritual, vocational, and so on) need extra prayer and support. They might even ask to have their names included on the care list.

What are the benefits of practicing church discipline?

9Marks

To many, church discipline (excluding a professing Christian from membership in the church and participation in the Lord’s Supper because of serious unrepentant sin) sounds downright mean. Yet the Bible portrays discipline as an act of love (Heb. 12:6-11). Here are several benefits:

What is church discipline?

9Marks
Church discipline is the church’s act of confronting someone’s sin and calling them to repent, which, if the person doesn’t repent, will culminate in excluding a professing Christian from membership in the church and participation in the Lord’s Supper because of serious unrepentant sin.

Why is “discipline” not a negative but a positive thing?

9Marks
Discipline sounds like a negative thing. The word makes us think of waking up at 5 a.m., endless pushups, or spankings. These hardly sound appealing! Yet only the proud person believes he or she is perfect. Humility causes us to realize that we are not finished products. We may need inspiration or healing. We may need to be corrected, challenged, or even broken. In other words, all of us need discipline.

Does being a member of a church mean I’m a Christian?

9Marks

No. Turning from your sin and trusting in Christ makes you a Christian, not being a member of a church.

However, church membership is meant to be a church’s corporate affirmation of your profession of faith in Christ. Membership is supposed to be the church saying, “We’ve looked at your life. We’ve heard your testimony and your explanation of the gospel. You look like a Christian to us, so we’re happy to affirm you as a Christian, welcome you as a brother in Christ, and care for you and watch over you.”

Is a Christian obligated to treat members of his church any differently than he treats other Christians?

9Marks

The apostle Paul urges Christians to do good to all men, especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). But the Bible also seems to indicate that Christians have a special responsibility to love, admonish, and care for those who are members of their local church.

What activities in the church should be reserved for members?

9Marks
The Lord’s Supper. If someone has not visibly, publicly identified with the body of Christ they should not be admitted to the family meal. Visiting Christians who are members of other faithful evangelical churches would be an exception to this, for the sake of charitably recognizing the body of Christ at large.

Must someone be a church member before being allowed to serve?

9Marks

Many churches attempt to adopt an inviting and warm posture by allowing both non-Christians and prospective Christian members to serve publicly in the church. Certainly outreach is a good motive. But is this the whole picture? We believe that public acts of service—like serving in the nursery, teaching children, leading music, teaching adult Sunday school, and leading a small group—should be reserved for members of the church. Why?

Is church membership wrongly exclusive?

9Marks

Tolerance and inclusivity are the quintessential postmodern virtues. It seems that the only way to be genuinely wrong in contemporary western society is to ever exclude anyone. Contemporary westerners are born cherishing particular conceptions of diversity, inclusion, and tolerance.

Isn’t the idea of membership just a modern American idea?

9Marks

Hardly.

How does a well-defined membership commend and clarify the gospel?

9Marks

A well-defined membership commends and clarifies the gospel by

What are the benefits of meaningful membership in churches to non-Christians outside the church?

9Marks

Churches that practice meaningful membership by taking care to ensure that only repentant believers belong to the church serve non-Christians outside the church in several ways:

What are the benefits of church membership to the Christian?

9Marks
It commits you, the Christian. It’s good to commit yourself to love and serve others. You will grow as a Christian as you commit to encourage, build up, strengthen, serve, rebuke, and pray for other Christians.