By Darrel Girardier
Social media is an extremely useful tool. The way that you utilize social media personally will greatly differ from the ways that you use social media for your church, ministry, or job.
Everyone wants their own personal social media, however, it’s important to remember that when working in ministry, you’re never really “off the clock.” Having any position in the church automatically places your personal life on a platform for the whole church body to see. Even in your personal time, you are still representing your church. If you have a social media channel, even if it is a personal one, it is a reflection of your church.
No matter how much privacy you place on your social media, nothing on the internet is ever truly private. Once something is uploaded to the internet, it is there forever. When you view social media with respect to how you represent the church, it will help safeguard you in the ways you use those channels.
Three Ways Not to Use Social Media
Here are three helpful guidelines on how to not use social media channels from a personal perspective and how they will reflect you and your church.
- Stay away from politics. Arguing over political positions rarely results in changing the other person’s mind. You also need to keep in mind that in sharing your political views, you may be shutting down your opportunity to share the gospel with someone.
- Shy away from insults. Although venting on social media may seem appealing and many people do it, it only gives a perception that you handle your frustration poorly without actually dealing with the problem.
- Stay away from deep theological arguments with people. Social media is designed to arouse strong emotions within you. It is hard to accurately express the emotions of a conversation through technology. It is much more beneficial to have a meaningful conversation with someone in person than through social media where you can’t see or hear the emotions they’re trying to convey.
It’s important to always remember that “private” doesn’t really exist on social media. View everything on social media through the lens of “How does this reflect on me personally and also my church?”
Darrel Girardier is the Digital Strategy Director at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN.