Jesus, in his ministry, received the empty, the broken, the lost and the diseased. Mark Lauterbach shows how compassion, mediated through a functioning body of believers, provides the answers to human waywardness and maintains the integrity of the Church. Although this is a book about church discipline, it is really about a Spirit-empowered community. Mark uses real situations from his experience to help us turn principles into practice.
“I have also witnessed the long term effects of church life where people hide their sin, sweep conflicts under the rug, ask dissenters to leave, and refuse to make confession and restitution where there is wrong. They live to protect their reputation and each others egos. Their motto: ‘It’s in the past, it’s behind us.’” (Page 18)
“Third, you must clothe yourself with the greatest humility” (Page 106)
“Church discipline is the constant activity of a church where holiness and love are pursued. We should always be watching over each other, encouraging each other daily against the possibility of a hardened heart, stimulating each other toward love and good works. We should always be facing sin head on in the Gospel.” (Page 20)
“I would not work with anyone in restoration if they were not weekly attendees in the public worship of the church. Trust has been breached and must be rebuilt by integrity.” (Page 180)
“Fourth, there is the sin that is the normal lapse of the believer in their state of remaining corruption” (Page 89)
. . . . A biblically sensitive and pastorally wise book on a subject many people would just as soon forget about: accountability among Christians. True church discipline is not about reinforcing legalisms but rather nurturing believers with a covenanted community of faith.
—Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
I have never read a book like this or even close to this. Written with a rare combination of biblical insight, and seasoned compassion, born of many years 'in the trenches' of local church leadership.
—Ray Pritchard, Senior Pastor, Calvary Memorial Church, Illinois
Mark Lauterbach is a pastor with Sovereign Grace Ministries in San Diego.