With news that Instagram has topped 80 million users and Facebook is inching closer to 1 billion, it seems that everyone is engaged in some form of social media these days.
Ever get on Facebook and think “good grief, did they really just post that?” In this day of modern conveniences, we’ve become accustomed to Tweeting, Facebooking, or texting each time we sneeze. Why do we feel the need to let everyone know when someone has ticked us off? Sometimes, I think it’s a bit excessive.
Social media has become a powerful resource when it comes to ministry. To be able to let people know of upcoming events, opportunities for ministry, or even to encourage others are all benefits that social media provides ministers in this modern era.
As Christians (and pastors), what should our social media comments look like? I don’t mean to imply that we need to only post Bible verses or inspirational quotes, but I do think that as pastors or Christians, we are being held to a higher standard.
When posting, ask these questions:
1) Is this going to enhance my relationships with others? That’s the intent of social media. God has called us to be in relationship with others. So we have to make sure that what we are posting is going to build up and not tear down. When we post things in a less than kind spirit, even if we don’t post names, about someone who has ruined our day, we are doing nothing to enhance those relationships.
2) Is this going to hurt my witness as a Christian? If so, don’t post it. The truth is that people are watching. Make sure that what they see is Jesus in you.
3) Could this potentially be a stumbling block for someone else? I Corinthians 10:32 says “do not cause anyone to stumble”. What might saying you’re at a rated R movie say to someone who is watching your Christian witness? Watch the pictures you post. Make sure that you are posting appropriate pictures that leave no one reason to question your integrity.
4) Will this hurt the brand I’ve created for my ministry? We spend so much time building our ministries. One negative comment does hurt.
Many times in ministry it feels that we unfairly live in a fish bowl, on display for all of the world to see and to judge. The truth is that we are. Live your life (and use social media) in a way that no one questions who you really are or what Jesus has done in your life.
Social media is an awesome ministry tool. Harness the power of it and be careful with the T.M.I.
What sorts of mistakes have you seen leaders make when it comes to social media?