Church discipline isn’t just the final stage we often think of—removing from membership, fellowship, and so on. I went under church discipline in the booth of The Nook Cafe. It didn’t go all the way to the end because my brothers helped me. Our Lord loved me. Every Christian is under church discipline. We don’t always make it to the formal process of Stage 3, but informal church discipline happens in the everyday of Christian community.
I wasn’t sure why my friend invited me to breakfast. Walking up to the locally loved but overrated breakfast spot, I noticed another friend, John, an older mentor, was here too. Hmm, why’s he here. I joined them at the booth, ordered coffee, and it happened.
“Jeff,” John began, “we are here because we need to talk to you about something. A sin.” My stomach hit the warped wood floor. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. What did I do? What’s happening? Scrambling for words, scanning my memories, I said, “Oh. Man. Okay.”
As John began to talk, it became clear what was happening to me. Church discipline was underway.
John said that Lucas tried to talk to me about a time I was a complete jerk to him. How I acted in arrogance, talked down to him, and was abusing my position as a leader. It all came back to me. Haunted me.