How to Avoid Gossip, Conflict, and Misunderstanding: Trust Agreement

How to Avoid Gossip, Conflict, and Misunderstanding: Trust Agreement

The idea for this Trust Agreement was given to us by one of our incredible mentors, Mrs. P, who runs a wonderful private Lutheran School in our town. We modified it a bit, and here is the end result! This agreement starts with versus from the Bible that model the Trust Agreement method. If you are a secular group, you can just use the agreement part without the versus.

Trust Agreement: (Rules for Building Trust and Respect)

Based on Matt. 18:15-35, Heb. 10:24-25, Prov. 26:20

Matt. 18:15-17
15“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Matt. 18: 21-35
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.
25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Heb. 10:24-25
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Prov. 26:20
Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

  • If I have a problem with someone I will go to them (privately and in a spirit of forgiveness) try to work it out with them, and I expect the same from someone who has a problem with me.
  • If someone has a problem with another person but comes to me, I will say “Let’s go to that person together, I’m sure they will see us about this.”
  • I will be careful how I interpret other people, and if there is confusion I will go to that person directly and clarify. I expect the same from others if they don’t understand me.
  • I will not share confidential information unless (a) the person is going to harm themselves or someone else (b) a child has been physically or sexually abused
  • I will not manipulate or be manipulated, either directly or through someone else.
  • If I have a question, no matter how dumb it seems, I will ask it to avoid miscommunication.

Name (Printed) ______________________________________________________

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Date _______________________________________________________________