Rules for Revolutionaries by Becky Bond and Zack Exley

Rules for Revolutionaries by Becky Bond and Zack Exley March 15, 2017

Rules for Revolutionaries by Becky Bond and Zack Exley

Rules for Revolutionaries by Becky Bond and Zack Exley

Rules for Revolutionaries by Becky Bond and Zack Exley is a book that describes how big organizing can be used to change everything. Here is a list of the “the rules” which also happen to be the title of each chapter in the book.

1. You Won’t Get a Revolution If You Don’t Ask for One

2. The Revolution Will Not Be Handed to You on a Silver Platter

3. The Revolution Will Not Be Staffed

4. Fighting Racism Must Be at the Core of the Message to Everyone

5. Get on the Phone!

6. The Work Is Distributed. The Plan Is Centralized.

7. The Revolution Will Be Funded— by Small Donations

8. Barnstorm!

9. Fight the Tyranny of the Annoying

10. Give Away Your Passwords

11. Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Big

12. Learn the Basics of Good Management

13. If There Are No Nurses, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution

14. Grow Complexity by Solving Problems as They Arise

15. Only Hire Staff Who Embrace the Rule “The Revolution Will Not Be Staffed”

16. Best Practices Become Worst Practices

17. The Revolution Is Not Just Bottom Up; It’s Peer to Peer

18. Repeat “Rinse and Repeat”

19. There’s No Such Thing as a Single-Issue Revolution

20. Get Ready for the Counterrevolution (to Include Your Friends)

21. Put Consumer Software at the Center

22. People New to Politics Make the Best Revolutionaries

Bond and Exley explain and illustrate from personal experience how these rules apply to developing big movements that bring about change. Based on their collective experience in the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

Bond and Exley claim that their experiences can apply to a variety of contexts. These principles can apply to anyone who wants to develop a big movement – a revolution. They explain that the title is inspired by Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky (7). Yet, the ideas described in this book can apply to more mainstream movements. Some of these principles can apply to churches as well.

I found that one could make similar parallel statements about the church from what one reads in this book. Some of the interesting ideas I saw which I believe could apply to the church include the following:

Proper preparation requires prayer (Chapter 3). Many churches need to operate with more volunteers, and fewer staff members (Chapter 3), which makes a great case for bi-vocational church planting. When a church is staffed, it needs to realize that the goal is not to have more staff but to empower more volunteers (Chapter 15). Like political movements, churches should fight racism (Chapter 4). Evangelism is important (Chapter 5). The ministry needs to be distributed to many people (Chapter 6). People can fund the work of the church in small amounts (Chapter 7). New converts can help make the church better (Chapter 22).

You can find more information about Rules for Revolutionaries in the following ways:

The Rules for Revolutionaries book can be bought on Amazon. There is also a website, as well as a Facebook page for the book. Both Becky Bond and Zack Exley can be found on Twitter. Zack Exley was recently interviewed on a Rob Bell podcast. Both Bond and Exley are now working together on a new project to elect a brand new Congress.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

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