On The Potter’s Wheel
Published by Jul Medenblik
“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (Jer. 18:4).
“This is not the perfect church. I am not the perfect pastor. But this is a community through which God does work and you are welcome here.”
Those are words that I would say at every New Member service at the church I pastored for 16 years. It was at those services that we welcomed new members and made certain commitments to one another as a church family on how we would live together as witnesses for God, both to the world that He so loves and to each other.
For example, new members would affirm that they would commit themselves to act in love, be accountable to other members, refuse to gossip, give regularly, and live a godly life.
This issue of the Forum focuses on a topic that we do not talk often about and quite likely even avoid: church discipline. In the Reformed tradition, we confess church discipline to be the third mark of a “true” church. While there have been discussions from time to time as to how relevant these marks are still today, it has always been acknowledged that we should seek to be a community of truth and grace.
How do we grow as communities of truth and grace in the area of church discipline? Why even be concerned with discipline in an age of individualism? We hope these articles and the input of many pastors helps us see that God still calls us to mold and shape each other. God does form us and He does use discipline as part of that formation. To God be the glory!
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