Four Amazing Church Discipline Cases

by | Jun 23, 2020

I’ve been involved in dozens of church discipline cases, both as an elder in my church and as a conciliator assisting other churches.

Some of these cases were handled so badly that they resulted in multi-million dollar lawsuits.

But some of them were handled so well that they resulted in amazing repentance, reconciliation and rejoicing by entire congregations.

In the following video I dissect four such cases involving these issues:

  • A businessman deceived investors in his own church
  • A man abruptly abandoned his family and moved to another country
  • A church divided over an out-of-wedlock pregnancy
  • A married man and a single woman in the same church had an affair

Each of the cases could have easily ended in disaster, but instead they all resulted in complete restoration and church-wide celebration.


Because in each case, church leaders saw the gospel as both the inspiration and the model for discipline. They had also built passport with the parties before conflict arose. Finally, they diligently sought to provide the “Three P’s of Satisfaction” (process, personal and product) to all those involved.

The principles illustrated in these four case studies are not limited to a church setting. They are equally relevant to bringing loving discipline to a child, as well as working through behavioral problems redemptively in the workplace.

Wherever these principles are applied, people are far more likely to break free from the grip of sin and experience the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” promised to those who have been trained by gospel-based discipline (Heb. 12:11).

~ Ken Sande

If a video screen does not appear above, click here.

Reflection Questions

  • Has your experience with or perception of church discipline been positive or negative? Why?
  • How does the gospel change our attitude toward and approach to church discipline?
  • What difference does having “passport” make when exercising discipline?
  • What are some of the ways that church leaders can provide process and personal satisfaction when carrying out discipline?
  • How do the principles of effective church discipline apply to disciplining a child?
  • How do these principles apply to resolving behavioral problems with an employee?

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2020 Ken Sande

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