Published: 4 years ago

Nobody Cares About Your Rules

I have a theory about Church People.

I’m allowed to have theories about Church People, because I myself am a Church Person. Born and bred. All my life plus nine months. Went straight from the hospital nursery to the church nursery. I have Sunday School attendance pins that’ll run from my neck to my navel.

Editor’s note: That’s disgusting.

So it’s okay that I theorize that there are some Church People that are – ahem – bullies. And the reason I think they’re bullies is because they don’t get to have their way in real life.

Think about it: they work in middle management, they never made captain of the football team, and maybe they’re henpecked at home. But at church? Well, church is a different story. They’re somebody at church. They have a title. They lead a committee. They know the details and nuances of the by-laws that keeps ’em in control and other people under their thumb.

And Church People make for fun business meetings. But they make for a horrible church.

Church People love rules, don’t they? They love giving people a list of do’s and making all kinds of laws that’ll keep ’em from the don’t’s. Those do’s and don’t’s tend to attract those who love to be in power and love to be on the inside, but they just annoy those still on the outside.

I present to you Exhibit A, from the classic how-not-to-do-church training manual, Meet The Parents: 

I’ll bet if you looked hard enough, you’d find some “Row 8s” that are annoyed with your church. And I’ll bet I could, too.

Are your rules keeping people from a relationship with Jesus?


(click for photo credit)

(Thanks to Mark Waltz for the video idea.)

  1. Danny says:

    Alright, bloggity blog blog friends, in response to tweets from my buddy and former co-pastor @BradOBrien, we need to come up with a top ten list of worst church rules ever.

    My all-time favorite comes from a story I heard in a First Impressions Training. I usually have participants tell some of their church horror stories as an icebreaker (because almost everyone has one).

    One guy said that he tried out a new church once, and there was apparently a dress code he was unaware of. He was escorted to a closet where he was REQUIRED to pick out a coat and tie, and wear it throughout the service.

    What are the worst rules you’ve ever seen?

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