Monday, April 28, 2014

15 Ways To Stop Christian Gossip (Part 3 of 3)

1. Don’t Accept Generalities as Truth from Others.
2. Ask for Permission from The Confider to Share (even when inconvenient) Before You Break a Person’s Trust.
3. Don’t Latch Onto Criticism Easily. Ask, “Is This Promoting Unity on the 90% We Agree on or Dissonance on the 10% We Disagree on as the Body of Christ?”
4. Be Open to Hearing Differing Opinions While Entrusting Yourself To God First, an Inner Circle Second, and a Healthy Outside Third Party Before You let the Crowds Validate your Actions and Self-Worth.
5. Develop a Reputation Where Details and Stories Stop at You.
6. Ask Yourself in Reflection, "Would others Say that I have been Vocally Complaining or Unsatisfied with every Friend Group, Life Scenario, or Church in my life so far?"
7. Ask, “Am I Putting Down Someone to Prove I’m Comparably Better than that Person or that I Should be in their Position?”
8. Hold People Accountable When they Confide or Else don’t let them Be Repeat Dump Offenders.
9. Speak the Truth... in Love...
10. You Aren't Supposed To Tell Everyone All of Their Wrongs Without Them Giving You Permission. Don’t try and Be the Close Best Friend/Informant to someone who hasn't asked for your opinion or isn't close.
11. Have an Awareness of Your Weak/Vulnerable Moments and Watch Your Words.
12. Have an Awareness of When You’re Feeling Defensive and Watch Your Responses.
13. Ask, “Have I or Could I Say This To Their Face in Love?”
14. Ask, “Is There an Honouring, Constructive Nature to this Conversation?”
15. As a Leader/Supporter, ask, “Does this Story Match the Character I already Know of that Person and, if not, am I Going to Give them the Benefit of the Doubt first?"

Friday, April 25, 2014

7 Leadership Lessons Dealing With A Christian Gossip (Part 2 of 3)

1. Challenge The Generalizer.
- Ask for the specific names of people to deal with the issue head on instead of letting people talk in general terms.
- Tell the gossip that if they have a real problem, they need to do something or else you will if they won’t.

2. Have The Awkward Conversations Upfront.
- Don't give in to the whole "promising before they tell you"… If they want or need to tell you bad enough, they'll still continue talking considering they have already come to you in trust.
- If there's doubt, directly ask the person for permission to share their private information (even if it's inconvenient), before sharing with someone else, or just don't do it.

3. The Negative Few Are Consistently Louder Than The Content Majority.
Critics are often more vocal and intentional than those that are happy and content. The masses that are happy and content often say nothing because everything is good and/or they don’t want to get into a confrontation.

4. Not All Sources Deserve Equal Weight, Trust, and Priority.
There needs to be a filter in church families that accounts for competence, trust, and maturity in the same way that there’s a weighted trust towards the dad over the 4 year old when it comes to household finances.

5. Take It With A Grain Of Salt.
Check your sources before flippantly talking.  Stop spreading stories that are not of God.  Be someone others trust because they know you let other trusted sources hold you accountable to reinforce or negate the stories told that may be untrue.

6. Promote Unity On The Agreed 90% Before Creating Dissonance Over The Disagreed 10%.
There is a time to correct, but there is an even greater call to unity. Go directly to the person with a problem when possible instead of creating dissonance among the crowds. People need commitment towards good even when things aren't completely perfect. Choose to be around those that are unified and committed.

7. Gossips & Bullies Often Put Down Others Out Of Insecurity To Make Themselves Look Better.
This principle helps us as leaders remain lovingly focused on helping everyone, including the mean spirited through their hurt before attacking out of anger.  It's easy to be personally defensive and assume you can't sinfully hurt the bully while trying to correct the problem.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

7 Ways to Spot a Christian Gossip

1.      Everyone is talking" or "A lot of people have a problem with…”  When this person is asked, "Who is 'everyone' exactly?", it's usually just them and one or two others they've talked to while they're assuming that means everyone else.   This person talks in general terms for "the masses" without a defined crowd or wanting to call their one or two friend sources out.

2.     “I’m just going to tell you but don’t tell anyone else…” They think they are just having fun or being a good friend, but these words expose them as being a bad friend when breaking trust with the originator without asking for his or her permission before speaking.

3.     “I can't believe they are...”  This righteous indignation is masked slander a lot of the time.  People who speak negatively about those in leadership without giving loving thought to their actions are most likely speaking out of a sinful, rather than godly attitude based off of Ephesians 4:29 & 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13.   

4.   “I have to hear everyone’s side of the story with any and every opinion – This person goes around hearing from everyone, even untrustworthy sources, to give them a voice.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that every word and opinion should be voiced and heard.

5.    “Did you hear what this person…”  If people are bringing stories to you about others, you need to make sure to ask yourself, Am I sure I'm not the gossip or that I'm encouraging gossip myself?  “A Gossip is like a Garbage Disposal… People will keep bringing their trash where they know it can be dumped.”

6.    “The reason I left that church is because of this and that wrong reason” As a pastor, you quickly have to learn that people who talk bad to you about others will soon talk bad about you to others also.  No, you will not be the one Christian person or group that never hurts them and that they don't complain about. 

7.    "They are such... (fill in your choice of hurtful names or adjective)."  This is when people put down others to feel a sense of gratification.  Whether it makes the gossip look better or just gives them importance by having something to talk about, this discussion is at the other person's expense.  The gossip can lean towards bullying or "the over caring".  Gossips can be mean to the person's face but they're even more so behind their backs.  The bully simply disassociates themselves from the person in more public situations while the "over caring gossip" does so in more private "confiding" scenarios. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

9 Funny-But-So-True College Blind Spots

9 Funny-But-So-True College Blind Spots

1.  “I’m too busy.”  Except everyone's always busy… and online talking to friends.
2.  “I should just go out & live my dreams now. I don’t need college,” said by every ancy global minded friend in college.
3.  “After college, everything will just work out,” said the naive life picture in my head.
4.  “Having loose morals won’t affect me long-term,” said missed opportunities from one bad call in a moment of stupidity.
5.  “I wouldn't really change anything about this school,” said no entrepreneur ever.
6.  "Being mentored and mentoring are nice ideas if there's time." said the hundreds of nonexistent professional athletes who wrestle with whether they should have coach or not... Do it!
7.  "My friends are so much fun, that's all I care about." Your five closest friends will drastically affect your life trajectory, thought process, habits, and maturity (or lack thereof), have fun but choose wisely.
8.  "The food options here are so limited." #firstworldproblems
9.  "I'll pick up a new skill or life dream when I have more time." You won't have more time. It's NOW! Whether that is traveling on breaks, playing the guitar, learning a language, going on a date, or trying a new sport, the time to give it a shot is now.  Now is when you have the time and people available. Make it happen.