Home > Church > Five Lessons Learned from Practicing Church Discipline

Five Lessons Learned from Practicing Church Discipline

Tom Hicks

I’ve been pastoring for over ten years now, and I believe in practicing church discipline with all my heart. But church discipline has been one of the greatest sorrows and griefs of my pastoral experience. I do not like practicing church discipline, but I believe in doing it because Christ commands it (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:13-14), and because it is one of the ways pastors are called to love and serve the church. The Second London Baptist Confession rightly says, “He has given [churches] all that power and authority, which is in any way needful for their carrying on that order in worship and discipline, which he has instituted for them to observe” (26.7). For several years at my church, it seemed as though we had one case of church discipline after another. Here are some of the lessons I have learned in the practice of church discipline.




Read the entire article here.

  1. February 21, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Very sobering but very helpful post.

  2. May 29, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    I can’t seem to find the word, “discipline” in the Bible. No, not in Matthew 18, nor in 1 Cor 5. Discipline defined is TRAINING as a PUNISHMENT to correct a deficiency. None of those words are in Matthew 18 or 1 Cor 5. Those kicked out of the church are not trained, therefore, not disciplined. And if one repents, there is no punishment, all because they were forgiven. Witnesses in Matthew 18 must be eye witnesses of the sin, and the words “THE CHURCH” is the whole congregation, not Pastor/Elder stuff. So, I don’t know why pastor/elders are conducting church discipline when it is not even in the Bible, no matter how many bible references that are thrown at me, I don’t see it in any reference whatsoever. Kicking a guy out of the church for not repenting is not a TRAINING exercise. 1 Cor 5 is not discussing a wayward brother needing restored. He’s just known as a wicked person that needs kicked out. No one is to seek repentance from him. Oh, and disagreeing with a pastor is not ground for church discipline…but, we know we see that, don’t we pastor?

    • June 24, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Your argument is weak and is not based on scripture. In 2 Cor. Paul appeals to the Corinthian Church to receive the brother of 1 Cor 5 back into the Church because he has repented.

      Since we don’t find the word discipline in the Bible, then I guess we shouldn’t discipline our children either. We do not have to find a specific word in the Bible, in order for it too be Biblical. The word Bible isn’t in the Bible either, but you keep using the word Bible to refer to God’s word.

      Strange indeed!

      • June 24, 2017 at 9:33 am

        That’s a big negative there buddy. In 2 Corinthians Paul is discussing a DOWNER letter that he wrote to the Corinthians and it made him sad that he wrote a downer letter and he was asking for forgiveness for writing a downer letter, when he wanted to write a letter that uplifts instead….IN THE 3RD person, which he often did of himself, especially in 2 Cor. Look at chapter 12. Paul was not discussing the guy in 1 Cor 5 at all in 2 Cor. You, sir, are mistaken. But, I know that is the general consensus in seminary.

      • June 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

        I am unimpressed by so-called internet theologians who think that God has placed them on a mission to correct everyone on the internet who they disagree with. You see this person did not address anything of which I stated.

      • June 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

        I have been accused of blocking comments. This is a false accusation. No commentor has ever been blocked on this site or any other site I own.

        All comments must be approved before they will appear on this blog. This is a simple administrative tool that comes with any standard wordpress account.

      • July 1, 2017 at 6:06 am

        Again, I do not block comments. People who use wordpress need to know how it works. If you post a comment and refresh the page, that comment will disappear because it is waiting moderation.

        If people who post comments to my blog would read my blog, instead of just wanting to argue a certain point, then they would see that back in April I put out a post about not being able to answer comments or post new material here due to taking a new job. This job requires me to work all day for two weeks straight before a off day.

        All quotes that appear here have been put into the system to go out, months in advance.

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