Episode 17: On How to Receive and Dismiss Members


One of the most important and time-consuming tasks for a church and its pastors involves receiving and releasing members, bringing them in and seeing them out. And yet, it’s almost never talked about in books on the church or in seminary.

To fill in this gap, Mark and Jonathan devoted this episode of Pastors’ Talk to the one topic: receiving and releasing members.


– What percentage of our elders and congregational meetings are spent looking at membership applications? (1:50)
– Why is this so important? (2:45)
– What’s your impression as to why members of so many congregational churches aren’t involved in the process of receiving and releasing members? (6:50)
– Walk us through the process of joining your church, Capitol Hill Baptist. (9:50)
– What do you do if, during a membership interview, it seems as though the person is living in a settled peace with unrepentant sin? (14:45)
– What do you do when a vote goes against your own understanding of a matter? (18:50)
– In a members’ meetings, what are good questions for members to ask? (21:00)
– Should members ever vote against the elders in regards to receiving members? (22:05)
– What does it mean to vote on releasing members? (24:00)
Jonathan Leeman

Jonathan Leeman is the Editorial Director of 9Marks, and an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church in Cheverly, Maryland. You can find him on Twitter at @JonathanLeeman.

Mark Dever

​Mark Dever is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D. C., and the President of 9Marks. You can find him on Twitter at @MarkDever.

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