Culture | Leadership | Volunteers

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28

There’s no faster way to destroy a team than from the inside out with gossip. Gossip is a not-so-silent killer of many youth workers and youth ministries; this week we wanted to equip you with a few ways to make sure that the gossip is stopped in its tracks when it gets to you.

Look out for warning words.
“Did you hear…”
“I don’t know if I should share this…”
“I can’t believe it…”
“Keep this between us…”
“She said not to tell anyone…”

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16

10 gender specific lessons on everyday issues your teens face…INCLUDING GOSSIP!

Youth leaders like you love our Jesus-centered resources!

When you hear one of these phrases, you have a couple choices—some easier than others:
a) join in.
b) change the subject.
c) call them out on it.
Which one will you choose?

Avoid people in your church who talk too much.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. Proverbs 20:19

We all know the old phrase rings true: “If someone gossips TO you, they are going to gossip ABOUT you.” Loose lips sink ships, and many youth ministries have been sunk by gossip. For too long it has been destroying friendships, ruining churches, and bringing shame on Christ’s name.
This one gets real difficult real quick: You might need to remove a volunteer from your ministry if they can’t tame the tongue.

Get a reputation for being a “Gossip-stopper.”

You have the chance to make it stop. If you listen, you are just as guilty as the person sharing so make sure you won’t even let it get that far.

10 gender specific lessons on everyday issues your teens face…INCLUDING GOSSIP!

Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander. Proverbs 17: 4-5

Humiliate yourself … and apologize for your gossip.

Have you ever been hurt by gossip? Do you need to apologize to someone this week? Let us know where you’re at in the comments, and more importantly go make it right and live differently this week!


  • Annonymous says:

    The side of gossip I most struggle with is keeping my youth group gossip free. Our high school gatherings are still taking shape, and it is difficult to keep their attention many days. But what happens, is they go into gossip mode. I will change the subject, I will point out the gossip, but it always seems to come back to the same thing. Any tips here?

  • Christian Waltmire says:

    I think you are right about needing to avoid – and even help to stop – gossip.

    But, there is also an appropriate time for youth to let leaders know things that are going on in other youths’ lives. For instance, if a youth is doing something destructive, it can be good for their friend to let a leader who can help, know. It would be best for the friend to lovingly confront them about it first. But, if it is not resolved, it could be important to get an adult who can help involved.

  • Anonymous says:

    Here in our church we have an issue going on right now with one of our ministers. It has been a very difficult 4 months and it does not appear to be concluding. This article hit close to home because as a member of the staff of this church we are often confronted with people’s “feelings” which are in essence nothing but gossip. It has given me pause to reflect on my thoughts and feelings as well, and perhaps maybe some statements I have made “out of turn.” Thanks so much for the resources. Keep it coming!

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