Reposted, with permission, from bradhambrick.com. (link is external) This post is a supplement to the “church discipline process” document/training posted earlier. The goal of this series is to equip churches to conduct church discipline with restorative excellence.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter. Frequently individuals in your situation have gotten to this point by one of two paths: (1) hidden sin has recently come to light, meaning you likely feel exposed and like everything is now moving very fast; or (2) pastoral care or small group care has stalled out, meaning you feel frustrated and are tempted to blame those around you for not being as effective as you believe they should have been to remedy your struggle.
Season - Difficult - Emotions - Strains - Pivotal
Regardless of how you got here, this is a difficult and pivotal season for you. Difficult because of the significant emotions and relational strains involved. Pivotal because how you respond to the matters that prompted church discipline will significantly impact your spiritual, social, and familial (if married) life for years to come.
My reason for writing this letter is to help you engage the restorative care of your church in a manner that allows for the full redemptive effect that God intends. In the rest of this letter I want to address four common misunderstandings or complaints about church discipline that often distract the person under discipline.
“I don’t think people understand how hard this is for me. Maybe I sinned, but this is still hard.”
“This whole process has been a mess and I don’t think those who are leading it are doing a good job.”
“I don’t see how this is ever going to work out well for me. It feels like I lose no matter what.”
“What am I supposed to do? You guys seem to be making all the decisions and...
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