Social networks are the way we connect. But how should Pastors use networks like Facebook and Twitter? Since the words of a leader carry more weight, they should be weighed more carefully.
- Announce events and teaching themes
- Link to helpful resources
- Encourage others
- Let people know a little about yourself
- Share Scriptures or great quotes
- Ask for prayer
- Limit your time on networks
- Post anything that you would fear being read at Church
- Engage ongoing conversations with the opposite sex
- Fish for affirmations or support
- Post ambiguous or manipulative statements
- Vent toward Church matters or members
- Become combative or defensive (take the bait and escalate)
- Embarrass your family with comments or photos
- How have social networks helped or hurt your ministry?
- Are you disappointed when people don’t respond to your posts?
- Do you waste too much time on Facebook?
- Do you use Facebook to avoid real life contact?
- Do you have intimate conversations under the guise of counseling?
- Do you use Facebook to complain about life or people?
- Are you always truthful and loving in the things you post?
- “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).
- “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
- “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (I corinthians 10:31).
- “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
- “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).
- “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)
- “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).
See also: Facebook photos: the good, the bad and the ugly
Two helpful resources:
- Solomon on Social Media by Tim Challies
- Dangers of narcissism in leadership
How about constantly promoting your own conferences, books, and blogposts? Could we add that to the list of “don’t”s?
The way technology works (at least in my case) whatever I post to my blog goes directly to my Facebook and Twitter. I could see how this might be either annoying or misunderstood, especially if someone was selling something. Blog posts are (again, at least in my case) free offerings of analysis and commentary. I know that my blog represents many hours of hard work and study. I don’t sell it to anyone but offer it as a free resource. I also don’t often blog about myself, what I had for breakfast, etc… But I’ve learned that readers enjoy occasional bits of personal info. Gratefully, there are ways to moderate how we receive info to keep it limited. Now, with all of this said, I can’t read the motives of others (let alone always keep accurate tab on my own). I don’t fault those who sell their books and stuff on line, it is the new way that stuff moves today. But God certainly cares about motives (Matthew 6:1) and will settle all of that at the Judgment seat of Christ (I Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:1-6; II Corinthians 5:9-10).
Thanks for that response. I just want to make sure you didn’t think I was referring to you by naming those practices; I certainly was not. In fact, I didn’t even know you tweeted or did Facebook until I saw the piece.
Your point is valid and worth reflection because there is always a potential fine line between proclaiming truth and promoting oneself. This is the tension between Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 6:1. It calls for a Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”