Ask any member of your local church who put them in that church, and I bet you1 that they’ll say that they chose to join the church. They’ll probably even take it a step further and give you a list of reasons that they chose the specific church.
The problem is that scripture tells us in First Corinthians that it is God who adds members to a local body as it pleases Him2.
God chooses who to put in your body of believers with a purpose. If God’s the one that put them there, who should be the one to take them out?
God is not adding to your church accidentally. There is a reason that He knows, and by joining a body of believers the believer is saying that they are part of the body. That whole thing about when one part hurts they all hurt? God means it.
To me, this means that there are only two ways to get off the church roles—God taking you off and placing you somewhere else and church discipline((This has not always been my belief. I was part of a Constitution Committee to help create a new Church Constitution and I put in there a notification clause after a number of services missed because I thought that having people on the roles that no longer attended was wrong. So, this is something I’m growing in as well.)).
Let me take it a step further—I now believe that if a person isn’t regularly attending your church, it is your duty to go find that person and to, in love, encourage them to come back to the church.
You see, I think that we’ve taken church discipline and made it into a worse thing than it was intended. We take it and only apply it to sexual sins—or other “big sins”. That wasn’t supposed to be the case. It was supposed to be a tool a person and a church could use to help bring Christians back into a proper relationship with God.
In any case, you need to be accountable to a body of believers, and God has a place for you in that body to strengthen and encourage it. God builds His body to match the assignment He has for it. You are an important part of that assignment!
- That is, if I were a betting man!
- 1 Corinthians 12:7, 18