An example worthy of following

Ben Cole, Pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, recently sent a letter to the inactive members on their church’s roll. It is a model of pastoral faithfulness, admonishing members who may have grown spiritually apathetic to rekindle their devotion to Christ and His church.

I am glad that more and more people are beginning to speak out on church discipline and our need to recover our commitment to a regenerate church membership. My fear is that, for some, this may remain only a theoretical interest. Ben demonstrates the kind of steps that must be taken in order for these biblical teachings to be reinstituted in a local church.

My fellow pastors, we must be willing to lead our churches in these paths if we are going to be faithful to our Lord. Failure to do so is a failure of duty. It does not matter how loudly one proclaims his commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord or the Bible as His inerrant Word. If there is a blatant, ongoing neglect of the simple, plain teachings of our Lord regarding church membership (Matthew 18:15-18, for example), then Christ is being dishonored and His glory trampled.

Thanks, Ben. May your example encourage many other pastors and churches to take the necessary and difficult steps of seeking to recover wayward members and honoring Christ in His church.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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