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Teaching 3 Simple Rules – A Wesleyan Way of Living

Home Forums Theology of United Methodist Youth Ministry? Teaching 3 Simple Rules – A Wesleyan Way of Living

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  uthguychaz 3 years, 3 months ago.

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    Erin Jackson

    I’m teaching a three week course based on Bishop Rueben P. Job’s book, “Three Simple Rules – A Wesleyan Way of Living.”  It’s a great little book (you should read it) and his three rules are:

    1. Do no harm.

    2. Do good.

    3. Stay in Love with God.

    I started the first session by explaining to the students that in our denomination, it’s become common for students to graduate high school & go off to college without really having an understanding of what their denomination is about.  To illustrate, I had the senior high class take a few minutes to tell me everything the knew (or thought they knew) about John Wesley, UM History, UM Beliefs, etc.  The class of 20 students came up with about 8 things.  So they’re typical.

    What I’ve almost been shocked by is the youth’s desire to learn more about United Methodist heritage and beliefs.  They really want to know what it is that make United Methodists special.

    So when do you teach United Methodist theology to your youth?  Why is it important?  How do you measure success/failure in this area?



    Jon Ellegood

    hopefully you’re teaching along the way through what you’re teaching and what youth are hearing during youth group and worship…but we especially go through this during confirmation. For us, confirmation is seven months during the 8th grade year.



    I make sure it is embedded in all 6-7 years of Youthwork. Wesleyan Theology is the lens for me to think through all I do with Youth. Sunday school yes, but also retreats, worship, games, UMYF, etc. should be based on the best Praxis we learn from Wesley about how to move folks along in the discipleship process.


    Mary Beth

    Erin, I agree. Especially in the Bible Belt–where I am–generic Baptist-ese becomes the fallback language for talking about Christianity. So I think it’s a great idea not only to use Wesleyan language throughout our time with our youth, but also to specifically focus on it in chunks: like Wesley’s language and conception of grace, Wesleyan means of grace, the Three Simple Rules, the Wesleyan quadrilateral, etc.

    I used Three Simple Rules for Youth and loved it.



    How many use 3 Simple Rules as the basic Covenant of Conduct for trips etc.?



    I get pretty specific when it comes to Covenant of Conduct for trips, but I do think its a great idea to add those to it! Love the bible study-I was debating on what series to do next as I just finished with the St. Francis prayer weather to do another prayer but after seeing this I am leaning towards something different thanks for the insight! About half of the youth that attend youth group are from other denominations or their parents choose not to go to church so as Wesleyan heritage is something to look at but I am careful to not JUST focus on Wesleyan tradition.


    Georgia Harrison

    We spent several weeks in Sunday school for Sr hi talking about the Book of Discipline and focused in on the Social Principles. You can have a great discussion around each issue, looking at what the UMC believes and then letting them each share what they believe.


    Mark Gstohl

    I’m new to the site and very excited about this resource! I think the rules can serve as a starting point for most of the discussions I’ll have with the youth group I’m working with.




    Nice to meet you Mark!

    I just used the follow up, 3 Simple Questions and the Youth really got into it and brought back in the 3 Rules as well. I think Youth like the concrete ideas and the older ones can then move into the abstract as they are ready.

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