On the surface of it, inactive Church members would seem to be no more and no less than “dead wood”. From the point of view of praxis, however -- rather than principle -- one needs active members. Here are five reasons why:
1. Special quorums may be required for major decisions, and dormant members may make this difficultOBSERVATION: I have experience of all of the above. I need to add, though, that there may be positives to dormant members. For example, I have seen them mobilised to build a Church.
2. There tend to be deep differences of spiritual outlook between active members and dormant, and these can lead to conflict at critical moments
3. With deep differences of spiritual outlook, dormant members may not see the urgency of certain issues, which may lead the Church into stagnation or decline
4. The same for differences of insight into the dynamics of the Church, if members have been missing from fellowship or meetings
5. Dormant members may quickly be activated by someone with an axe to grind, all the more easily because they are out of touch, and
6. The requirement of active membership creates an awareness of the need to be in fellowship in a Church