Rules of Engagement by Patrice Tsague

by Patrice Tsague

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

Have you ever been a part of an organization where you did not know what was expected of you, the benchmarks you were to be evaluated on, or the consequences of non performance on your part? Have you ever been in a relationship where the terms were not clear and there was no exit strategy? Unfortunately, too many Christian organizations are in chaos or perform beneath their potentials because of unclear guidelines, non-existent performance measurements and lack of accountability.

We have taken grace too far and completely ignore the need for guidelines, goals, evaluations and performance reviews. Sometimes we are just being cowards and are unwilling to make things clear or hold people accountable because we do not want to hurt people’s feelings or confront them. But as humans, we need boundaries and as business owners, we must hold people accountable. Without these boundaries or accountability standards, our human nature is to NOT perform at all, or woefully under perform. Every organization and relationship needs clear Rules of Engagement (ROE) to fully realize it’s potential.

If you have ever been in the military or police force you are probably very familiar with the term, “rules of engagement.” It is a term that is used to determine when, where and how force shall be used. According to Wikipedia:

The most widespread and most accepted rules of engagement (ROE) exist within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and are generally designed as operational rules for commanders of battalion-level and larger forces and Commanding Officers of warships. Rules of engagement are essential in the military because:

1. They provide a consistent, understandable and repeatable standard on how forces act. Typically they are carefully thought out in detail well before an engagement and may cover a number of scenarios, with different rules for each.

2. They help synchronize political-diplomatic and military components of a strategy by allowing political commanders to understand, forecast, and tailor the actions of a force better.

Without clear rules of engagement there is disorder, chaos, anxiety, low or non performance and people get hurt unnecessarily. God was the first one to establish rules of engagements. After God created the heavens and the earth and formed man He gave man the first and only rules of engagement prior to the fall; “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

These particular rules of engagement encompassed the complete guideline that was to govern man’s behavior in the Garden and the consequences of any violation. Unfortunately, man did not adhere to those simple ROE and those simple ROE evolved into the 10 commandments which evolved into the New and Old Testament bible. The bible is the embodiment of the complete rules of engagement between God and man. The bible reveals all of God’s expectations, all the rewards for man living up to the ROE and the consequence of disobedience. God has revealed to man everything He expects of man and left nothing hidden. If we are to build successful kingdom businesses we must have clear rules of engagements within our organization and in every relationship we enter into. Here are seven benefits of having clear written rules of engagements:

  1. You are modeling our Creator God
  2. Creates order and minimizes anxiety and stress
  3. Makes expectations clear
  4. Provides clear boundaries and accountability measurements
  5. Protects the integrity of the relationship and the organization
  6. Enhance performance and productivity
  7. Gives room for grace

Rules of engagement can come in the form of a contract, operating procedures, covenant agreement, a simple “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” or simply a mutual predetermined understanding. Though it is often best to put these rules in writing, it may not always be necessary. The length of the document is certainly not as important as making sure every key issue is covered that is necessary for the relationship (or the organization) to achieve its stated mission and to manage any conflict should it arise during the course of that engagement. Do you have clear ROE? Remember; do not be bound to the letter of the law but the spirit.

Copyright © 2010 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.


Patrice Tsague, a gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneurship coach, is the Chief Servant Officer of Nehemiah Project International Ministries (NPIM). He thrives on equipping and empowering Christians to take dominion and fulfill God’s plan for their lives through biblically based, entrepreneurial training. NPIM offers a proprietary certificate business discipleship course called the “Biblical Entrepreneurship Certificate Program”. The program provides a strong mix of core business concepts and biblical principles. Some of the courses offered include Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE I), Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE II), and Planning a Kingdom Business (BE III). To learn more about how NPIM launches entrepreneurs into their God-designed destiny, please visit


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About Paul Wilson Jr.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a "Dream Catalyst" and Marketplace Pastor for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips leaders with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish spiritually and professionally, while operating from several multi-media platforms, including TV show host, inspirational speaker, and stimulating writer. Paul is the President of Kingdom Business University, which utilizes workshops, consulting, and coaching services to ignite Christian catalysts maximize their God-given mission in the marketplace. He is the author of the life purpose igniter “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the host of Passion in Action, a motivational and educational faith-based Internet TV show for social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community change agents. Contact us today to learn more about how he can help your business, church, or community to thrive on purpose!

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