“Resisting Gossip” Author Shares His Insights for Christianity Today Article

As a Christian focused on gossip, Mitchell does hear from pastors whose churches have been split by gossip. But the reason you want to rid your church of gossip is to make it a healthy place for the flock, he says, not so the pastor doesn’t have to deal with criticism.

“That’s backwards in Christian leadership. The one who is higher is called to do more stooping, and that might mean taking more hits than you want without fighting back, but that’s the joy of Christian leadership,” said Mitchell, who has pastored Lanse Evangelical Free Church in Pennsylvania for the past 23 years.

Matt Mitchell, author of Resisting Gossip, shares his insights on the plight of gossip in the church in the April 2021 cover story of Christianity Today.

Read the full article here.

Resisting Gossip

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Resisting Gossip…5 years later

Happy Birthday! Resisting Gossip is now 5 years old!! Celebrate with us and get 40 OFF your purchase of Resisting Gossip from now until the end of October 2018!
A lot can change in 5 years, so we decided to check in with author Matt Mitchell to see what he has been up to since his best-selling book was released.

Pastor Matt Mitchell, author of Resisting Gossip.

What has Pastor Matt been up over to the past 5 years?

Thanks for checking in! For the last 5 years, I’ve mostly been busy pastoring our local church and being a homeschool dad. Last year, Lanse Free Church celebrated its 125th anniversary, and I’ve just completed my 20th year as their pastor. I’m thankful that they’re still putting up with me! Our kids—Robin, Andrew, Peter, and Isaac—rare all in high school right now, and it’s a delight to discover their unique personalities and interests in this season of life. Heather and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this coming June. She is my greatest earthly joy.

By God’s grace, I’ve also had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about Resisting Gossip over the last 5 years—through podcasts (e.g, The Gospel CoalitionThe Boundless Show, and the Walrus and the Carpenter), conferences, and seminars. Some of the highlights were speaking at the CCEF National Conference in 2015; at the EFCA’s Challenge Conference for youth in 2014 and 2018; and at the launch of the French version of the book, Résister à la médisance, in Montreal in 2015. I’ve also spoken in many local churches across several states. It’s been a pleasure to be used in this way.

Any book-related surprises that you experienced in the last 5 years?  

Just about everything about the spread of this book has been a surprise! One of the biggest was seeing Resisting Gossip get translated into 5 other languages: Spanish (including an e-book), French (in both Canada and France), RussianRomanian, and Korean. I’m excited to think that I’m getting to teach God’s Word to people that I would never meet or be able to converse with— people all over the globe. It’s been fun to see pictures of the book in different countries (even on Colombian National Television!) and see reviews in languages I can’t read!

Another surprise was that Resisting Gossip has been a bestseller for CLC Publications every single quarter since its release. For me, those sales translate into real people I hope have been helped to win the war of the wagging tongue in their own lives.

Thirdly, I’ve been surprised that so many readers and leaders have  found it so helpful. The gracious words of folks like Kevin DeYoung (and on video), Tim Challies (oncetwice, and then thrice at World magazine!), Joe ValentiDeb WelchMonergism.comAndy NaselliAlex ChediakSteve Kemp at BILDGreg StrandBob KellemanDaniel HolmquistTodd Hardin at the Biblical Counseling CoalitionMarci Ferrell at the Thankful HomemakerBenjamin Vrbicek at Fan and FlameWill Turner, and Mark Lauterbach at TGC have encouraged me no end.

Is there anything you wish you had added to your book 5 years ago?

Sure. I wish I had added more about carefully handling prayer requests and some other frequently asked questions. I’ve tried to address these from time to time on my blog. Maybe in another 10 years we’ll update the book to include them. I’m currently working on a short article about a biblical approach to warning others about dangerous people, and how that is different from gossiping. I talk about that briefly in the book, but I think I could have been clearer.

What has been most impactful to your readers?

People consistently mention three things that have been the most helpful:

  1. The definition in chapter 1– “Sinful gossip is bearing bad news behind someone’s back out of a bad heart.” People are helped simply by having a working definition of gossip because, for most of us, it’s been fuzzy. They also like that the definition focuses on heart motivations because they know the gospel of Jesus Christ can change our hearts.
  1. Two full chapters on what to do in place of gossip. People need help envisioning the alternatives. We all know we aren’t supposed to gossip, but it often seems inevitable. People tell me that the strategies we lay out in chapters 5 and 6 help them to imagine a different way of speaking and listening.
  1. A focus on the gospel.Because of Jesus there is hope. We can change. We can resist temptation. We can love our enemies. We can repent,  be restored, and experience reconciliation with those we have hurt and those who have hurt us. People tell me that they don’t feel as “stuck,” and I’m really grateful to hear that!


Any advice you would give to someone who is considering publishing a book?

Make sure you have something important to say. The world has enough books in general, but there are specific books that the world still needs. In the case of Resisting Gossip, I felt that not enough Christians had said enough about this problem that we all deal with every day. I don’t plan to write another book unless I have something to say that will help the church in a similar way.

And if you can, find a wonderful publishing partner like CLC International! I’m so thankful that I got to collaborate with you in your mission of making evangelical Christian literature available to all nations so that people may come to faith and maturity in our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s been a great 5 years, and I look forward to many more. Thank you!




About Matt Mitchell

Matt Mitchell is a graduate from Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In 2012, he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in biblical counseling under the leadership of the faculty of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). His doctoral project included writing his first book – Resisting Gossip. He is active in his association of churches, the EFCA, serving the awesome Allegheny District as the chairman of the Constitutions and Credentials Board, and as the book review coordinator for EFCA Today. His greatest joy in serving Jesus is passionately communicating scriptural truth and seeing lives changed. Matt Mitchell has been the pastor of Lanse Evangelical Free Church, a 120+year-old church parked along Interstate 80, since he was a rookie pastor in 1998. He is Heather’s hubby, and Daddy to Robin, Andrew, Peter, and Isaac. They live in the woods of Central Pennsylvania with a flock of free range chickens. They do the “homeschool adventure” thing, cut firewood for their outdoor furnace, love to read great books together, and go for long hikes as a family.


About Resisting Gossip


Hey, have you heard about… Gossip.

It’s on Facebook, on the television, in the break room, and even in our churches. With gossip being so prevalent in our culture, it can be hard to resist listening to and sharing stories about other people’s business. But what does God say about gossip? And is it possible to follow his instructions? In Resisting Gossip Pastor Matt Mitchell not only outlines the scriptural warnings against gossip, but also demonstrates how the truth of the gospel can deliver believers from this temptation.