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Can a preacher kick members out of the church?


The primary job of a preacher, as described in the Bible, is to be a herald of God's good news. He teaches those outside the church how to become a part of the church. He teaches those inside and outside the church how to live their lives in conformance with God's Word. In performing his duties he becomes a fellow member of a congregation, but he does not run the church. Because of his duties, he often represents the congregation as a spokesman for the group. He is given authority to rebuke and reprove wayward members, "Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you" (Titus 2:15). See the article "Preachers" for more details.

It is the congregation as a whole who decides who is and who is not a member of the local church. It is a preacher's job to help encourage the congregation to come to sound, biblical decisions. But ultimately the decision is the congregation's to make. The preacher cannot make it by himself. You can see this in I Corinthians 5, when Paul, an apostle, is made aware that the church in Corinth is allowing a sinner to remain in their midst. "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles--that a man has his father's wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed" (I Corinthians 5:1-3). Paul then proceeds to tell them they must withdraw from the man. Even though Paul had already concluded that he didn't belong, his word did not make it so. The church had to decide to withdraw fellowship from this man.


See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Preachers
Questions and Answers regarding Withdrawal
Questions and Answers regarding Fellowship