1.     Church ministry is predicated on relationships. Relationships are difficult, and we need coaching on how to make them work.


2.     Church is the only thing that works the way church works. It’s not like the Rotary. It’s not like a job. It’s not like a gym or a bowling league. Church has its own unspoken rules, and without some guidance you’re likely to suffer unnecessary hurt.


3.     You will get hurt at church, by your church, possibly even during church. You will need to learn to forgive and let things go.


4.     You will hurt others at church, inadvertently, or out of anger or petulance or misguided enthusiasm. You need to learn how to humbly ask for forgiveness.


5.     Church is the best approximation we have of the Kingdom of God. It’s as close as we can come to God’s plan for heaven-on-earth without God showing up and taking over completely.


6.     Church forces us to sing songs we might not like, talk through scriptures we didn’t choose, and mingle with people we’d rather not know. Church is an exercise in overcoming discomfort and a persistent reminder of the multitude of God’s grace.


7.     All churches are different. Without some coaching, you might mistake these differences for doctrinal distinctives instead of what they really are—personality quirks.


8.     Churches are places of incredible contrast, allowing the best of us to fellowship with the rest of us. A survival guide keeps us from normalizing either our heroes or our antagonists, reminding us there should always be room for both.


9.     You can’t escape your problems by escaping church. You have to work through your problems if you want to grow in faith and godliness with Christ. There’s no such thing as a churchless faith in the Second Testament.


10. Other people need to trust that you’re going to play by the rules. A survival guide protects them from the worst bits of who you are, just as it reminds you to continually surrender to Christ.