Here are John Wesley’s rules for church stewards. Which do you think are still relevant today?
(From The Journal of John Wesley, Volume 3, pp. 300-301. June 1747. Source: https://archive.org/stream/a613690403wesluoft#page/300/mode/2up)
Thursday 4 June 1747: I reduced the sixteen stewards to seven, to whom were given the following instructions:
- You are to be men full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, that you may do all things in a manner acceptable to God.
- You are to be present every Tuesday and Thursday morning, in order to transact the temporal affairs of the society.
- You are to begin and end every meeting with earnest prayer unto God for a blessing on all your undertakings.
- You are to produce your accounts the first Tuesday in every month, that they may be transcribed into the ledger.
- You are to take it in turn, month by month, to be chairman. The chairman is to see that all the rules be punctually observed, and immediately to check him who breaks any of them.
- You are to do nothing without the consent of the minister, either actually had or reasonably presumed.
- You are to consider, whenever you meet, ‘God is here.’ Therefore be deeply serious; utter no trifling word; speak as in His presence, and to the glory of His great name.
- When anything is debated, let one at once stand up and speak, the rest giving attention. And let him speak just loud enough to be heard, in love and in the spirit of meekness.
- You are continually to pray and endeavour that a holy harmony of soul may in all things subsist among you; that in every step you may ‘keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace.’
- In all debates you are to watch over your spirits, avoiding, as fire, all clamour and contention, being ‘swift to hear, slow to speak’; in honour every man preferring another before himself.
- If you cannot relieve, do not grieve, the poor. Give them soft words, if nothing else; abstain from either sour looks or harsh words. Let them be glad to come, even though they should go empty away. Put yourself in the place of every poor man, and deal with him as you would God should deal with you.
These instructions we whose names are under-written (being the present stewards of the society at London) do heartily receive, and earnestly desire to conform to. In witness whereof we have set our hands.
N.B. If any Steward shall break any of the preceding rules, after having been thrice admonished by the chairman (whereof notice is to be immediately given the minister), he is no longer steward.