When a church becomes less about the demands of Scripture on our lives and more about our demands on the church to fit our preferences, it loses its power to transform us and subvert our idols.
One of the most important and time-consuming tasks for a church and its pastors involves receiving and releasing members. And yet, it’s almost never talked about in books on the church or in seminary.
Mailbag #62: How to Encourage Attendance at Members’ Meetings; The Relationship between Baptism & Church MembershipBy Jonathan Leeman | 05.19.2017
— Could you provide some wisdom for how to handle situations where members are consistently neglectful of attending members’ meetings? — I understand that baptism should precede church membership. But must membership always follow baptism?
Personal relationships were never meant to serve as the foundation for our sense of church commitment.
Jonathan chats with Mark about good and bad reasons to leave a church, and offers principles for leaving well once the decision has been made.
— Is it okay to tell my church members, “You should never vote for a pro-abortion candidate”? — Would you say churches that don’t practice membership or discipline are not true churches?
How can I say Christians ought to do something if the Bible doesn’t explicitly say that they should?
— Can you explain your church’s “care list”? — Does marrying an unbeliever warrant church discipline?
— Does women voting in congregational gatherings violate 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 14? — How should children’s ministry relate to pastoral oversight?
— Is it okay for churches to require members to attend a second gathering? — I discovered a long-standing member has never been baptized. What do I do?
Would you believe it if someone told you church structure actually plays a crucial role in your individual discipleship?
— Is it permissible for Christians to opt out of church in favor of home groups? — If an unmarried member of your church sought to adopt a foster child, what would you say?
— You’ve mentioned before the value of elders reading books together. What’s the best way to go about that? — Do you have any advice for a husband and wife who can’t agree on which church to go to?
In George Whitefield’s very first sermon, he exposed the spirit of nominal religion that was so debilitating to England, and to so much of America today.
Mailbag #46: Tricky Membership Question about Immigration; Pastoring a Church with Lots of DivorceesBy Jonathan Leeman | 12.23.2016
— A woman who came to the United States under false pretenses wants to join our church. What should we do? — How should a pastor proceed when he inherits a church with several divorcees?