When leaders update and tweet (Do’s and Don’ts)

Social networks are the way people connect. Like other means of communication, Facebook and Twitter have both positive and negative potential. 

But how should Church leaders use networks like Facebook and Twitter? Since the words of a leader carry more weight, they should be weighed more carefully — especially when offered publicly. 

Seven Do’s

  1. Announce events and teaching themes
  2. Link to helpful resources
  3. Encourage others
  4. Let people know a little about yourself
  5. Share Scriptures or great quotes
  6. Ask for prayer
  7. Limit your time on networks

Seven Don’ts

  1. Post anything that you would fear being read at Church
  2. Engage ongoing conversations with the opposite sex
  3. Fish for affirmations or support
  4. Post ambiguous or manipulative statements
  5. Vent about Church matters or members
  6. Become combative or defensive (take the bait and escalate)
  7. Embarrass your family with comments or photos

Seven questions

  1. How have social networks helped or hurt your ministry?
  2. Are you disappointed when people don’t respond to your posts?
  3. Do you waste too much time on Facebook?
  4. Do you use Facebook to avoid real life contact?
  5. Do you have intimate conversations under the guise of counseling?
  6. Do you use Facebook to complain about life or people?
  7. Are you always truthful and loving in the things you post?

Seven Scriptures

  1. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
  2. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
  3. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (I corinthians 10:31).
  4. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
  5. “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:14-15).
  6. “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut” (Proverbs 10:19, NLT). “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19)
  7. “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:8-9).

Steve Cornell

See also: Facebook photos: the good, the bad and the ugly

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Two more helpful resources:

  1. Solomon on Social Media by Tim Challies
  2. Dangers of narcissism in leadership 


16 thoughts on “When leaders update and tweet (Do’s and Don’ts)

  1. Ok, I’m not a full-fledged pastor, but I just got convicted by your comment on checking Facebook before checking in with God. Good advice…I’m going to go pray now.

  2. ecko says:

    I think what you have written here applys to more than just pastors but really all christians. Thank you for putting this together I plan to put some of this to use in my own Social media dealings

    • After writing this, I felt that there had to be points I missed and could have made. Sometimes others (through feedback) can help you see outside the “writers tunnel”. O but I’ll take the encouragement too! Just hit the like button or give me stars! :)

  3. I am Tim Challies sister, and I agree wholeheartedly with the points outlined here. I posted something 2 years ago on FB that I still regret- as I believe it did not enhance relationships at my church. Bad mistake. Since then, I am reluctant to ever post anymore. And I “hide” the statuses of people who irritate me…because I can become more irritated simply by peeking. FB has ushered in a world of sin options and time-management issues. Will be so interesting to see over time, whether it over-archingly blesses or curses…..

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