Culture of Confession

What Are We Allowed to Joke About?

I’ve really been dreading social media the last couple of days. There’s A LOT going on in our culture and everyone has a strong opinion about everything. 

But it’s not the opinions I’m trying to avoid on Facebook, it’s the jokes.

Last year I created a video series called HOW TO LEAD A CULTURE OF CONFESSION. I believe we are all constantly auditioning to be the type of person someone feels comfortable opening up to. How we handle certain situations will let others know if they can trust us with what’s really going on in their life.

We have to be careful with what we joke about.

This isn’t me trying to police every word out of people’s mouths. I don’t want to make blanket statements that you can NEVER make a joke or laugh about anything close to this subject or that one.

I just want us all to be careful.

I think the most important question you can ask yourself is: “why do I feel comfortable making this joke?”

A flippant joke about killing yourself, eating disorders, assault, or spousal abuse (all things I’ve heard joked about at church events) might be the thing that pushes someone away from opening up to you.

They might be suffering in silence with something from their past and the joke you made let them know you believe that no one around you is struggling with that, so it was ok to make the joke. If no one else is dealing with it, they must be the only one. And if they’re the only one, no one will understand. So it’s better to keep it locked up inside.

Be careful.

Paul was willing to give up meat that he had absolutely no problem eating if it might cause weaker Christians to stumble. Are you willing to sacrifice a joke?


If you’re interested in the rest of my series, HOW TO LEAD A CULTURE OF CONFESSION, check out all 4 parts.

Video # 1 | Everyone Has a Story

Video #2 | What We Joke About

Video #3 | Dealing with Gossip

Video #4 | Sharing Your Story

How do you describe gossip?

gossip is.png

This is a quote from my video series HOW TO LEAD A CULTURE OF CONFESSION.

I tried looking up famous quotes about gossip to see what kind of wisdom the internet could offer.


“The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.”   -Will Rogers


That’s a good one. That hits home. I talk in Culture of Confession about how gossip is a big problem for me. I’m so nosey and I want to know EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE! But when people start talking about me, I hate it and I’m so embarrassed. What a hypocrite.


“Gossip is called gossip because it’s not always the truth.”    -Justin Timberlake


Hey Justin? This isn’t a very good quote.

It sounds like someone woke you up from a nap and yelled “QUICK! SAY SOMETHING REALLY PROFOUND ABOUT GOSSIP!” and you were like “uhhh…gossip is…called….gossip….because it’s…not…always the truth?”


“No one’s personal life is in the public interest. It’s gossip, bottom line. End of story.”   -Kevin Spacey


Boy oh boy, this quote did not age well, considering everything we know about Spacey now.


“Gossip is the Devil’s radio."   -George Harrison


The Devil’s Radio is a great name for a band.


“Once I will warn you, and then I will fire you! I have a zero-tolerance-plus-one policy for gossip. I will teach you once, and then I will fire your butt.”   -Dave Ramsey


How embarrassing to show up to work and not be able to sit down because Dave Ramsey let you keep your job after your butt got fired?


If you want to hear everything I have to say about gossip, watch How to Lead a Culture of Confession.

Leading a Culture of Confession

We don’t get to choose who opens up to us.

It’s a real bummer, isn’t it? I know I’ve had friends who I can tell are going through a really hard time but they’re not talking to anybody about it. I just want to shake them until they start talking. “TELL ME YOUR SECRETS SO I CAN BE THERE FOR YOU, YOU FREAKING JERK!”

Not the best approach.

We can’t force people to confide in us but I do think there are some simple steps we can take, as leaders, to let the people in our community know that they can trust us.

I created a 4 part video training that walks through how we can lead a culture of confession.

I posted the first video on Facebook the other day. The rest is available for free on my website. At first you had to sign up with your e-mail address in order to view them but I decided to get rid of that.