I’ve been picking up on an issue lately – let’s call it “Loose Lips” – that other church leaders I know are having to combat. Are you aware, for example, that there’s a website for people to tell stories about how they were “wounded” by Mars Hill Church (led by Mark Driscoll)?

So, with ‘three fingers pointing back at me’ (what a cheesy line that is) below are some of my thoughts on this by way of preventative (rather than curative) medicine for our church.

“Loose Lips Might Sink Ships” is a phrase that originated on propaganda posters used in the Second World War to stop careless talk that could be of use to the enemy. The point of this particular slogan was to avoid ship movements being disclosed since this could be heard or overheard by covert enemy agents and might lead to ships being intercepted and destroyed.

Fellow Christian, do you know that there is a war going on? There is a great and worthy cause for which to spend and be spent (2 Corinthians 12:15). Lives are at stake. So, in the nicest possible way, “watch your mouth”. There’s “a world of evil” in that there tongue of yours, says the Apostle James (2:5). Grumbling? Moaning? Complaining? And of all things, about your church, even your leader(s)/pastor(s)? Has “criticitis” infected you? Could you be infecting others? Pouring water on people’s passion for Christ and His church?

Your loose lips won’t sink the church but they’ll make the waters rather turbulent for a fair few believers, not to mention those yet to cross the line of faith, as our “prowling” enemy seeks to use your careless talk to his advantage. So, says James, “keep a tight rein on [your] tongue[s].” (James 1:26)

There’s a place for constructive feedback, and we should all (yes, you too, Howard) be open and grateful for that, but the time, manner and place of giving it is crucial. More on that in another post, as I could really do with getting better at that myself.