The Evangelical Visitor was the denominational paper for the Brethren in Christ from 1887 to 2003. Issues included denominational news; marriage, death, and birth announcements; thoughtful reflections on life in Christ; and occasionally even satire!

In the February 1923 issue of the Visitor, a short, humorous article entitled “Rules for Killing a Church” appeared on the second page. Now, 100 years later, the “advice” given in the article is still applicable today.

Rules for Killing a Church

We do not presume that any one is trying to do such a thing, but if so, you will find that it will not take all of these rules to do it:

  1. Don’t come. Psa. 42:4; 96:8; 100:4.
  2. If you do come, come late. Psa. 84:10.
  3. If too wet or too dry, too hot or too cold, don’t think of coming. Psa. 122:1.
  4. Don’t imagine the front seats are for you. People might think you conceited.
  5. Come bound to find fault. Psa. 100:4-5.
  6. Don’t ever think of praying for your pastor or the church. Eph. 6:18-19; 2 Thess. 3:1.
  7. Don’t sing. Psa. 95:1-2; 1 Cor. 14:15.
  8. Don’t attend week day services. Acts 3:1; 2:1.
  9. Don’t encourage the pastor, but tell his faults to others. Gal. 6:1. If his sermon helps you, don’t let him know, it might make him vain.
  10. If you see a stranger in the audience don’t offer to shake hands, or ask him to come again; people might think you bold. Heb. 13:2.
  11. Never try to bring any one to church with you. John 1:41, 45; 12:20-21.
  12. Don’t give to missions. Matt. 28:19-20.
  13. Don’t give much to benevolence. 1 Cor. 16:2.
  14. Let the pastor do all the work. Isa. 41:6-7.
  15. Keep his salary always behind. 1 Cor. 9:14.
  16. If he does not visit as often as you think he should, treat him coolly. 1 Thess. 5:12-13.
  17. Don’t take your church paper.
  18. Try to run the church. Mark 10:42, 45.
  19. If you see any one willing to take hold and help carry on any of the church work, accuse him of being bold and forward. 2 Chron. 31:20-21; Eccl. 9:10.

Find the original article in Evangelical Visitor – February 05, 1923 Vol. XXXVI. No. 669.

The Evangelical Visitor was the denominational paper of the Brethren in Christ Church from 1887 to 2003. It was an important avenue for the community to remain connected as they spread across the country and globe, and it offered a way to share doctrinal and practical teaching. You can find an online archive of Evangelical Visitor issues through the BIC Archives.

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