John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, knew how difficult it would be for his followers,
particularly those recently converted, to live a holy life. To this end, he created structures and practices that would help foster faithful living in the members of the Methodist Societies. In 1743, he outlined these practices in the “General Rules”, which functioned as a sort of contract by which group members held one another accountable.
The rules are organized into these three basic categories:
Do no harm, “avoiding evil of all kinds”,
Do good, “of every possible sort, and as far as possible, to all;
Practice “the ordinances of God,” or engage in individual and communal spiritual practices such as prayer, Bible reading, worship and the Lord’s Supper.