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One of the responsibilities of each of us is to protect the unity of the church. At times, youth workers are put in difficult positions where we have the opportunity to listen to gossip, agree with critical spirit and add to the problems that are brewing beneath the surface of any church. Be a part of the solution, here’s what I think are some trench-tested ways to make sure

Fight gossip with praise
If you hear criticism directed at a specific person, immediately turn it around with praise. When someone identifies a weakness, speak directly to one of their strengths.

Point them back to the person it is about
Without hearing too much, you can usually see that a person’s venom is directed toward someone specific. Gently nudge or firmly direct them to the person they should be talking to, not you.

Remove the repeat offender
You will be talked about. A gossip TO you will gossip ABOUT you. People that undermine others will undermine you and unravel what you are trying to build. This is always a last-resort-tough-call-no-one-likes-to-do-it but doing it once will send a huge statement on where you stand and how seriously you take this issue.

How about you – what are some other ways to help protect the unity of the church?

JG

2 COMMENTS

  • Dan says:

    What do you do if the person gossiping is the senior pastor? I am finding it really hard to know what to do.

  • This is a really great post. I find that it’s easy for a pastor and staff to talk negatively about someone or some church situation. To fight gossip with praise is a really great suggestion.

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