Thursday, October 30, 2014

2 Sermons on Resisting Gossip by Jim Stewart

I love this!

This week while running the logsplitter to get us ready for Winter, I listened to two really good messages on resisting gossip by Pastor Jim Stewart of North Avenue Alliance Church, in Burlington Vermont:

    Gossip: A Community Killer

    Gossip: Don't Pass It On

Both messages are part of his ongoing series on being "Lonely in a Crowd." People are more technologically connected to each other than ever before and yet report feeling more lonely than ever before. Pastor Jim explains how Jesus is the answer to this problem. In these two messages, he identifies gossip as a community killer, defines it in terms recognizable to readers of Resisting Gossip with a focus on motivation, and lays out strategies for resisting this temptation ranging from very direct to very indirect.

Pastor Jim has read and recommends Resisting Gossip, but he doesn't merely repeat it. He has studied the biblical teaching and presents it in his own words, with his own stories, and in his own very engaging style. I especially enjoyed his unpacking and application of these phrases from 1 Corinthians 13 for resisting gossip: "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." I also thought his explanation of idolatry in our gossip motivations was really well put, "Gossip serves as a substitute for God at that moment."

What a privilege it is to hear how Resisting Gossip is being used! I'm so encouraged that pastors are reading my work and then teaching their flocks what the Bible says about gossip. I pray that churches would be strengthened and biblical community flourish as we grow in our understanding of God's Word.

Today is the last day for Westminster Bookstore's fantastic sale on resources for resisting gossip.


Hey Matt, Jim Stewart here. I deeply appreciate your kind words about my preaching. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I really appreciate it!

However, I am dying to know something: what in the world ever prompted you to listen to my sermons? Do we have a mutual friend, or friend of a friend?

I really am thankful for your book on Gossip. It is simply the best one out there!

Hey, Jim!

Thanks for your encouragement about the book!

It was the magic of Google that brought us together. I was googling "Resisting Gossip," to see what people are saying about the book, and your community group document came up in the search results.

So, that's how I found your sermons--which I thoroughly enjoyed. You definitely love your people with the truth.

By the way, we found out this Summer that our oldest daughter also has Celiac's disease. I guess we'll have to find some sea-salt caramels, too. =D