Pastor Doug Shivers is in his 15th year.
Eight years ago, the church had more than 1,200 members on its rolls.
Now the total is less than 500.
"While we're not trying to become meddlesome, or some kind of Christian CIA, there is a place for seeking restoration of those who are unrepentant," said Shivers, who is also serving this year as president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Pastors' Conference.
"A Christian is capable of very serious sins.
The difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is repentance.
Reconciliation is the goal of church discipline.
Reconciliation presupposes repentance."
launched Boulevard on its church discipline journey by asking about the nature of salvation and the nature of church membership.
"If we really believe in regeneration, that the Holy Spirit actually changes someone, then that change should be minimally observable in regular attendance at the public worship of a local church," he
"John the Apostle is quite clear about the matter of fellowship with other believers (1 John 4:20-21).
So, if we take seriously the New Testament's view of salvation as a radical change, then at the very least a Christian will want to be around other believers.
If you can absent yourself from the company of other believers without any sense of loss or conviction, it is evidence you've never been converted."
Shivers cannot fathom the concept of an inactive church member at Boulevard.
"The New Testament would never recognize such a strange animal," he
Back in the 1990s, Shivers
used to get calls from funeral homes informing him that a man or woman had died and that the family wanted his
pastor to officiate.
More often than not, neither Shivers nor his
associate pastor, who had been on staff more than 14 years, would recognize the name.
"It was a scandal to me as pastor," he