The Bible says, "For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." (James 3:7,8) (ESV) This is so true. The tongue can cause so much damage and pain and sadly it does exactly this in churches across the country, and around the world. We have to have a zero tolerance for gossip. Make the following your "set in stone" policy -
- I will NOT listen to gossip. Period. If someone comes to you and begins to gossip, stop them. Tell them to go and talk to the person themselves. Offer to go with them, but do so without listening to either side first so you are able to go with no preconceived ideas or perceptions.
- I will NOT gossip about anyone, ever. Ask people to hold you accountable. If you begin to gossip - as it is far too easy to do so - stop. Apologize to any who heard you and go talk to the person you were gossiping about. Resolve any issues between the two of you.
- Be on guard and watch - watch for any situations where there is conflict and misunderstanding as it is in these situations where gossip tends to flourish.
- Build relationships among your volunteers; cultivate a team spirit and love for one another.
- Commit to being responsible - I will accept responsibility when I gossip and will do what it takes to make things right.
Set this example for your volunteers and do all you can to keep gossip away from your children's ministry. Make the following your prayer - and make it the prayer for your volunteers, every time you get together begin and or end with this prayer.
"Dear God on this day please help me speak words which are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise! Please help me choose words; and the things I think about, which are acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Thank You, Amen!"
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14) (ESV)