Church Work Rules: Generational Wisdom for Church Leaders

By David Self  (Crossbooks:  March 2, 2011)
Book Notes by UBA Church Consultant, Sally Hinzie  

Written especially for churches in the interim period between pastors, Church Work Rules presents ten rules to guide a church.  To develop these 'rules' author David Self drew on scripture, wisdom from his father,  and experiences and observations during from the interim period at Houston's First Baptist Church following the retirement of long-time pastor Dr. John Bisagno.

  1. Leaders Lead - After John Bisagno retired, David Self publicly committed to stay with the church until a new pastor was called. He also led 100% of the deacon body to the same commitment, a turning point for the church. 
  2. Expect to Be Inspected  - Quoting from Acts 20:18 and Proverbs 22:1 to underscore the need for integrity, David warns that the entire organization is jeopardized if a staff member fails morally.  He lists the guidelines used by Houston's FBC in the books.
  3. Servants Serve - Those in service must serve with humility.
  4. No One Promised You a Rose Garden - Telling the story of  how his father persevered to introduce the RSV Bible to the congregation even as RSV Bibles were being collected from all the new Christians and burned, David emphasizes the necessity of perseverance.
  5. Keep the First Things First - During the interim period, the church remained committed to sharing the gospel as the first priority of the church.
  6. Emphasize People Not Paper - A ministry focus group was formed to keep the focus of the church outward.  Using the theme "Loving our Neighbor, Loving our God" the church targeted ministry and resources to the inner city poor, the helpless and the suburban needy.
  7. Protect the Flock - The Relevance of Doctrine - David encourages leaders to know what they believe and to teach love not war.
  8. Recognize God's Ownership - Stories from David's father and the interim period at HFBC relate examples of involving people in the work of ministry and underscore the essential role of equipping others for the work of ministry. Wisdom from David's father, "The only way to do the work of ten men is to get ten men working." 
  9. Stewardship Measures Maturity - Teachings include the concepts that church leaders set the example of faithful stewardship; trust and transparency promote generosity; and stewardship is not what God wants from you, but what God wants for you.
  10. Prayer Measures Faith - The importance of prayer is illustrated by a quote from Charles Spurgeon who said, "If you rely on education, you'll receive what education can produce. If you rely on your own strength, you'll receive what man can produce.  But, if you rely on prayer, you'll receive what only God can produce."

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