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During the Total Church Conference, Steve Timmis shared that The Crowded House does church discipline without church membership. They advocate a culture of “gospeling” that promotes Jesus-centered discipline in little ways throughout the week. Apparently, this happens in their house church communities quite often.
He shared a story of a young woman who called him on the carpet for being impatient and touchy with someone on the telephone. He suggested that, done respectfully, this kind of “church discipline” should be normative in churches. Moreover, he argued that, if this church discipline method was normative, bigger church discipline issues could more easily be avoided. Provided that this is a gospel-centered phenomenon, I see some merit in it; however, I’m not quite ready to jettison church membership. Are you? Why or why not?
For more see the recent 9 Marks interview with Steve.