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Wesleys Take the Web: Three General Rules

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In this installment of our modern animated series, which features the brothers who founded Methodism, John and Charles Wesley lay out three rules for holy living according to John Wesley.

We hope you will watch and share these clips, whether with your confirmation class, new member class, Sunday school group or in other settings. Several discussion questions are suggested below.

See more of the Wesleys Take the Web series.


(JW at desk or on floor, rifling through crate full of abacuses)

CW: Hey brother, looks like you are loading up on math calculators, but why?

JW: I'm planning to give these out at our next class meeting. It seems the members of our Methodist society have forgotten the most basic rules for holy living.

CW: And just how will an abacus make a difference?

JW: They can count. (moves some beads over) Three. Three general rules.

CW: (pantomiming actions) Oh, like Stop. Look. Listen.
Or Shake. Rattle. And Roll.

JW: NO brother! You know our general rules: Do no harm. Do good. Attend upon all the ordinances of God.

CW: Or, as I like to say, practice showing up for God. Count that on your abacus!

JW: Our rules equal guidelines that show we're serious about salvation.

CW: Brother, you can COUNT on me to help you keep them acCOUNTable. I can do math and music you know.

JW: In SUMmary, three rules help us love one God. And save many souls.


See a variety of topics in the animated Wesleys Take the Web series.

These videos were produced as a 21st century follow up to the popular clip known as "Clayride: A Gallop Through United Methodist History." Find out more about the making of "Clayride" from the artists who created that 1984 classic.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Joe Iovino.

This video was first posted on July 10, 2019.

Suggested discussion questions

How do rules help us? Think not only about sports, but also how the rules of math, for example, help us solve a problem. Or how the rules in our family and church help us function.

The rules that John shares in the video are summaries of The General Rules of the Methodist Church, which you can read in their entirety here.

General Rule #1 is to do no harm. Why is this important? What are some ways we can avoid doing harm to ourselves, others, and our relationship with God?

General Rule #2 is to do good. What's the difference between doing no harm and doing good? What are some ways anyone can do good?

General Rule #3 is "attending upon all the ordinances of God," which are things like going to church, receiving communion, prayer, Bible study, and more. Why are these things important? What's your favorite way to grow in your relationship with God?

The order of the rules in interesting. Why put "do no harm" first? Why do you think Wesley saved the "ordinances of God" for last?

At the end of the video, John says, "three rules help us love one God, and save many souls." How does following these rules help us love God and share the gospel today?

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