We've been taught it since birth.
It's outlined in Matthew 7:12.
"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you."
But have you heard of the "Silver" rule?
"Don't do to others what you don’t want them to do to you."
Is it just me, or is the world going a little crazy?
It seems everyone has picked a side and is sticking to it.
Inside and outside of the church.
Currently in the church, a couple of significant scandals are rocking movements, denominations and evangelicals in particular.
The result of the storylines of both Bill Hybels and Paige Patterson in particular will affect each one of us as church leaders. And these storylines affect the future of the big "C" church, whether we like it or not.
Some of this change will be for the better, to be sure. But the pain of current change is yet another smudge on the reputation of U. S. Christianity.
It seems that we make changes only when we need to. And that 'need to' is usually prefaced by a blog post, a newsletter article, or a group of people that say 'enough is enough'.
How do we stop this from happening in the future?
I think it could be as simple as the "Golden" and "Silver" rules.
First of all... treat everyone the way that you'd like them to treat you.
Simple concept. Hard to do. Because we're usually thinking about ourselves BEFORE others.
But the truth is... if we REALLY treated others the way we hoped they would treat us, the world would be a different place.
THE CHURCH WOULD BE A DIFFERENT PLACE.
I talk with churches and staff people every day that have violated the "Golden" rule. And they're a mess. Relationships blow up. Chaos reigns. Ministry suffers.
Churches that don't regularly apply the Golden rule from the top down are oftentimes very unhealthy churches.
And many times it all starts with someone thinking about themselves over others.
Of course, it's not that easy, you say.
But honestly, in many cases, it is.
When we put other people above ourselves, we treat them differently.
Romans 12:18-19 gives us great advice: "Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone."
The world (and the church) would be a better place if we took these words seriously.
But that's only half of it.
The "Silver" rule says "Don't do to others what you don’t want them to do to you."
Have you ever been mistreated in the church?
Treating people harshly. Shading the truth. Manipulation. Entitled thinking. Not keeping promises. I think we can all agree that we don't want to be treated like this.
If you don't want to be treated like this, then don't treat others like this.
Perhaps the situations that we currently find ourselves in could really come down to these two rules.
As leaders, let's learn from what's going on around us.
The moment we elevate ourselves over another brother or sister in Christ, we high a high likelihood of violating one or the other of these two rules.
And as we're finding out, it hardly ever ends well.
Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Most recently, Todd’s work with Leadership Network has provided him exposure to the innovative trends in today’s church and inside knowledge of how healthy churches operate and uses it to help churches find a healthy, long-term fit for their next team member. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.