Do You Engage in Gossip? Maybe you call it seeking counsel?
One of the quickest ways for a leader to destroy the dynamics of a good fellowship is to get involved in gossip. By getting involved in this nasty practice, the leaders can inadvertently pit members against each other. Gossip and the Hebraic faith do NOT go together!
A true leader rises above doing this and tries to set up an environment where gossip is kept to a minimum through the intentional discipline of all.
The only way to be successful in reducing gossip in the Hebraic faith is not to engage in it.
What happens if you say something about someone, and it gets back to you? Any trust you have developed with that person is gone, at that point in time. As we walk amongst the Hebrew Roots, we see wounded warriors – many walking with knives sticking out of their backs. And many poised to plunge knives.
Leaders also set the stage for gossip to flourish. A small amount of chatter may seem tolerable. But, when it becomes constant, it can split a group in the saddest and wicked ways. There is no room for gossip if we are to be about His business.
If leaders do engage in this kind of behavior, it generally signals they are afraid to confront people. They may avoid these situations not to hurt feelings. However, souls will be even more hurt when people discover they were the subject of gossip, especially by their leaders.
Without a doubt, gossip isn’t constructive. There are much better ways to deal with issues than to gossip.
It can also be something that your people should call you on if you are one of the significant contributors. However, time and time again we see weak people who don’t have the energy to stand up against wrong. We’d rather convince each other why my knowledge is more correct than yours!
If you have been involved with gossiping in the past, ask yourself why and then try to work forwards from there. There must be a fundamental reason why you feel you need to do it.
Try to put yourself in the position of the people you are talking about. How would you feel if your group was saying bad things about you behind your back? It really does all come down to ‘do unto others’ folks.
Ironically, when you are involved in a smear campaign, your group is probably talking behind your back. Your members may be going over your head because of the practice – or more likely cause a division – the bane of Torah observant groups.
Always focus on keeping the people that you lead at peace with one another, YHVH, and the leadership.
Take the role of championing the sheep and discourage any gossip that may be going on within the fellowship. Your efforts in this regard will go a long way in helping all members feel welcome and like they belong to the body.
If they don’t, they are going to feel alienated to the point where it’s not worth sticking around. When the person does leave, will another victim be chosen for a gossip campaign? This becomes a vicious cycle that ends with everyone leaving or unhappy.
Indeed, a no-tolerance policy for gossip is the best policy and takes strong leadership to enforce.
Most leaders aren’t willing to deal with this issue and, as discussed above, often indulge in gossip themselves. While we all probably agree this should not be, who amongst us is ready to take a stand, walk away, button a lip?
Want to help grow the Torah Keeping faith? Go to war against gossip at all levels and all angles!