17 RULES FOR CHURCHES

I’m not the person who makes the rules or guidelines for churches in this world … but here are a few I’d make if I could. :)

  • Don’t be afraid to take a risk.

  • Honor the past – but don’t live in it.
  • Live in the present, but keep your eyes on the future.
  • Live church. Be church. Do church.
  • See past events, successes and failures, as stepping-stones not stop signs.
  • Never be comfortable or satisfied where you are.
  • Don’t read the book of Acts without living the book of Acts.
  • Don’t be afraid to try because you’re afraid to fail.
  • Pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know.
  • Realize that Jesus was criticized, and you probably will be too.
  • Be an army for engagement not observation.
  • Focus on what could be, not on what is or has been.
  • NEVER be limited to the four walls of the building. Your influence is not restricted by location.
  • Be more concerned about how many people you send out into the world than you are about how many you convince to come into the building. Buildings are meant to be filled, but they are not a measure of who you are or a measure of your effectiveness.
  • Raise up world changers – not tour guides. Train commandos, not committees.
  • Jesus is the message the world needs to hear. You can’t preach Jesus too often.
  • Understand that God’s unconcerned about the color of the carpet or padding on the pews in your building. He IS concerned about people. Be in the people business.

What rule/guideline would you add if you could?

(COMMENT OF THE DAY: jerriann said… “My favorite comment is train commandos, not committees. When I gave my life to Christ, at age 28, I was afraid to go back into the church buildings because I knew people would see how broken I was. Hungry, hurting, seeking people should not be afraid of the judgement of people in church buildings. But they are. I don’t think it was as much the church’s fault as my own damaged perception. I just want so badly for hurting people to know the life that Jesus has for them. Here, on this earth, right now.”)

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
25 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Gallagher says:

    It is an old illustration but remember J. O. Y.

    J. – Jesus first

    O. – Others Second

    Y. – Yourself Last

  2. Marlo B. says:

    My pastor had a good one…(Springs) church is a battleship, not a cruise ship.

  3. nick gill says:

    You exist to make Jesus famous.

  4. sherryfisher says:

    People are more important than rules (it’s how Jesus lived).

  5. Trent says:

    With all do respect, Im not most of our churches could handle such a list…..think about it..

  6. Donna G says:

    Spend less time enhancing “services” and more time planning Service!

  7. Peter P says:

    Trey, you ROCK!

    Those rules are awesome.

    17’s not a very godly number though now is it. It’s not divisible by 3, 7 or 12.

    How can I use it in a sermon series if I can’t divide it into 3’s?

    :-)

  8. TREY MORGAN says:

    But a 17 point sermons would be amazing … :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Make sure the elders and the pastoral staff do not all think the same way — though the basic values and beliefs in Christ must be shared.

    The best ideas and plans are not confirmed right away as briliant. They need a little debate from different perspectives before they can be brought to their full potential and effectiveness.

  10. Jared says:

    Forgive me if I state the cheesy, yet obvious…

    But most, or all, of these could be rules to live by as well, not just the Church. But then again, if you think about it, we are the Church, so maybe I’m just being redundant.

    Word verification: dinaling.

    What is it? Any offspring of the late Dinah Shore.

  11. TREY MORGAN says:

    Jared … I thought the exact same thing. They could be applied to our individual lives. :)

  12. Peter P says:

    There should be no difference between our individual lives and ‘the church’.

    We are the Church. The two are synonymous (sp?)

    Tell me how that 17 point sermon goes!

  13. cwinwc says:

    You kind of said this one already but I’ll throw it in –

    Make sure that you grow in both knowledge and GRACE.

    Don’t take yourself too seriously because the fact is, you’re wrong before you get started, God is God, and its by His Grace and not our “rightness” that we are His Children.

  14. Joshua Tucker says:

    Great list, Trey. Here’s a few I thought of:

    Connect to the world around you, but always keep God’s holiness. Never compromise God’s standard.

    Every member is a minister, paid or not. You do not need permission to minister to those around you.

    Don’t base church practice on what all the other churches do, but instead on Scripture and God’s leading.

    Shout this message loud and clear: World, we are not better than you! The only difference between us and you is that we have accepted God’s love, but there’s plenty of room.

    We all have a responsibility to help parent new Christians in the faith.

    When a church grows so big in numbers that it becomes impersonal and official, multiply.

    Be people-focused, not program-focused.

  15. karin says:

    Excellent list!!!

  16. Fillmycup says:

    Like the list … I might add:

    Look at yourself through the eye of the non-believer, the one searching, the one tormented, the person seeking spiritual growth…. what do they see? Jesus? Peace? A reason to believe?

    As much as I hate to say it, a book is often judged by a cover. I would hope that in a church’s case that cover reflects Jesus and draws others too him.

  17. Chris Johnson says:

    Great list man. Thanks

  18. Stoogelover says:

    If only, huh? Too early in the morning for me to come up with any additions to an excellent list that pretty much sums up the basis of frustration for many who serve on staff of churches. I could take every one of those and give you a story from my life in the pulpit.

  19. jerriann says:

    My favorite comment is train commandos, not committees.

    When I gave my life to Christ, at age 28, I was afraid to go back into the church buildings because I knew people would see how broken I was. Hungry, hurting, seeking people should not be afraid of the judgement of people in church buildings. But they are. I don’t think it was as much the church’s fault as my own damaged perception.

    I just want so badly for hurting people to know the life that Jesus has for them. Here, on this earth, right now.

  20. WisemanB says:

    My favorite soap box right now is that we’ve given up on “restoration” as if it’s like we’ve restored a ’65 Mustang and now we just keep it polished and waxed.

    As the church, we’re far from being restored to the New Testament model (and some say that’s going to be impossible to do now). But we still need to push on. I see that as a grand adventure; to keep growing and maturing, and applying what we see in Scripture to our lives.

    Great list. What about presenting it as a “Bucket List” series?

  21. TREY MORGAN says:

    Jerrian … so well said. Thanks for your comment. I hope both the “church people” and “non-church” people were listening to your comment. :)

    Wiseman … I like the “Bucket List” idea!

  22. Brother Mark says:

    Remember you are
    the Church and in Jesus.

    Where ever you go or what
    ever you do….He is there too.

    He sees what you see.

    He will tell you about at
    the Bema Judgement.
    Don’t let anyone steal your Crown.

    God Bless,
    Your Brother Mark

  23. Sherri Watt says:

    Great list!

    Raise up world changers not tour guides…. I love that!

    My heart is with Jerriann- the comment of the day. I deal with hurting women all the time. They feel like they don’t belong there. We are getting better at transparency at our church but we still have a long way to go.

    God Bless!

  24. Jenn says:

    I am the secretary at my church. Your lists like this are one of the things I really like about reading your blog. Sometimes I am tempted to print them out, frame them, and hang them up in my office…lol

  25. e3 says:

    As one who works in an architecture office, it is hard for me to remember it’s not about the building. VERY hard. I even had to write myself a note. “Make the building go away so the spirit and people shine. The building is not the church, the people are.”

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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