Cultivating Community: 10 Rules for Community Life

This past Sunday, we had a great forum on Family Systems Theory. When I was a seminarian, I had the privilege of working with Greg Rickel as my rector. He is now bishop of Olympia, and used these 10 guidelines as a helpful way to navigate living in community at the church we served then just as he uses them in the diocese he serves now as bishop. I think they are helpful not only in congregational life but in many facets of our lives, especially as we enter this season of so many busy events and gatherings with different types of people, family, friends, etc. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Blessings,  Jeff

Bishop Greg Rickel (Olympia) – 10 Rules for Respect, as adapted from Church of the Nazarene pastor Charles Christian

1. If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).

2. If I have a problem with you, I will come to you (privately).

3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me. (I’ll do the same for you)

4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go to Greg together. I am sure he will see us about this.” (I will do the same for you.)

5. Be careful how you interpret me-I’d rather do that. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misinterpret intentions.

6. I will be careful how I interpret you.

7. If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If you or anyone comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell unless a) the person is going to harm himself/herself, b) the person is going to physically harm someone else, c) a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.

8. I do not read unsigned letters or notes.

9. I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated; do not let others manipulate you. Do not let others manipulate me through you. I will not preach “at you.” I will leave conviction to the Holy Spirit (she does it better anyway!)

10. When in doubt, just say it. The only dumb questions are those that don’t get asked. Our relationships with one another, at the end of the day, are the most important things so if you have a concern, pray, and then (if led) speak up. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something, someone, or breaking a confidence, I will.

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