Years ago, in 2008 to be specific, when I was still fairly new to being a solo pastor, a seminary student asked me to participate in a project he was doing. He wanted to compile views and practices from a variety of churches regarding church discipline and conflict resolution. I came across this document in my files the other day and thought it might be of interest so I am posting it here. While I trust I have matured as a pastor over the years, there is not much I would say differently today.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, this church opens wide her doors and offers welcome to all who are spiritually weak and seek rest; to all who mourn and long for comfort; to all who struggle and desire victory; to all who sin and need the Savior; to all who are strangers and want fellowship; to all who hunger and thirst after righteousness; to all who are poor in spirit and desire the riches of the gospel; and to whomsoever will come to Jesus Christ in living faith and repentance, looking to him as Lord and Liberator.

This essay presupposes and builds upon my sermon on Psalms 127-128, available here.

The term “patriarchy” is controversial.

A man is the head of the household. To put it another way, the man is the patriarch of his home. He has responsibility for his home, as well as authority over his home.