Reconsidering Our Accounting: The Church Visible Is the Church Disciplined
In September of 1994, I became the pastor of a local congregation in Washington, D.C., composed of about 500 individual members. As good Baptists, we counted individuals, not families. Computing the number of members that way reflects the strong Baptist tradition of the necessity of individual profession of faith for Church membership. Membership cannot be inherited or even automatically assumed and confirmed at a particular "coming of age." That should have meant, then, that I was beginning to lead a church of 500 individuals committed to its life and ministry.
That was far from the case.