Discipline is one of the most difficult issues in contemporary church life. Church leaders often need to battle to maintain the integrity of their churches, sometimes with tragic results. But why is it so hard? Should we bother with it at all?
In this thorough treatment of the subject, Stephen McQuoid answers these questions and provides a biblical framework for church discipline. Because prevention is better than cure, he shows that discipline is not just about punishing but includes a whole way of life which keeps us spiritually accountable and in a right relationship with God. Corrective discipline will also at times be necessary, and he guides us through the disciplinary stages taught in the New Testament. By using appropriate case studies, he also demonstrates the complications of real-life situations and highlights the lessons that can be learned.
Stephen McQuoid grew up in Ethiopia where his parents were missionaries. He then lived in Ireland where he qualified as a nurse before going on to study theology. He has a Dip.Th. from Belfast Bible College, a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity College, an MA and a PhD in Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary, and has recently completed further post-graduate study with Spurgeon’s College, graduating with an MTh in historical theology. He is principal of Tilsley College, a ministry of Gospel Literature Outreach, in Motherwell, near Glasgow. He has also written seven books, including The quest for true tolerance, also published by Day One. Stephen is married to Debbie and they are both involved in a church planting situation in Bellshill. Stephen’s preaching ministry takes him throughout the United Kingdom and abroad.
Stephen McQuoid has tackled an often neglected yet vitally important issue for the modern church. His approach is, as always, biblically based, yet at the same time he has demonstrated the relevance of the subject through a wide range of illustrations and examples. He emphasises the need for leaders not to shirk the correction of members no matter how difficult. In exercising discipline the church is giving God’s verdict on the given situation. There must, therefore, be both judgement and compassion. Helpful advice is given to both leaders and members as to what kind of attitude should be displayed towards the offender. This short book is remarkably comprehensive in its treatment of the subject. I have no hesitation in commending it.
—David Clarkson, Elder at Cartsbridge Evangelical Church and Author of ‘Learning to Lead’ course
In any local church, the issues of authority, discipline and leadership lie close to the surface. Church members and leaders alike seek to act biblically, but relating the various scriptural passages to practical situations poses many challenges. Stephen’s book explores succinctly some of the cultural issues, scriptural context and practical outworkings of the vital need to keep the body in shape. I would commend this book wholeheartedly—not only to church leaders who are seeking counsel, but also to church members who are interested in exploring this vital doctrine of the local and universal church.
—Andrew Lacey, Church Elder, Manager GLO Book Shop, Director of Partnership, Scotland
My bottom line: Discipline with Care is a good book on church discipline that will strengthen churches by promoting their holy witness. I’m grateful McQuoid has written it, and I’m happy to recommend it.
—Jonathan Leeman, an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, Director of communications for 9Marks