When Facebook first came out in the early 2000s, I couldn’t help but get sucked into it. The narcissism and destruction of social privacy completely engaged me in some twisted way. :) But one thing that I soon realized was that it was an important tool that can easily be misused in the advancement and growth of the Kingdom.
So here are some of my beliefs and thoughts on this…
1. Stop tweeting that your worship band “rocks.” Unless Switchfoot is leading the show, I don’t think it rocks. Saying your worship band rocks on Sunday morning has become cliché and represents an even deeper problem about where the heart of your church is. I think we can stop doing that.
2. Don’t argue online. No one wins and we all lose when we argue online.
3. We can speak truth in love in national moments. We can be the voice of hope and truth when our world seems to be falling apart.
4. Nix the negativity. Pastors, if you don’t like your sandwich at Subway, don’t tweet about it. Why? Because there might be a chance that the kid working behind the counter at Subway goes to your church and will read the tweet. One bad sandwich, airline flight or customer service experience doesn’t warrant airing your grievances online.
5. Don’t be all over the place. Don’t feel comfortable being on Snapchat? Don’t. Do you prefer Facebook over Twitter? Then use Facebook. Be online where you feel comfortable and where you’ll think you’ll succeed. Don’t chase something that isn’t you.
6. Tweeting Scripture isn’t always a good idea — it can be an easy way to get likes or retweets, but does it make a lot of sense to post a Scripture then moments later post about a church event? Especially when the two aren’t related? If you’re posting Scripture, make sure you provide context as well (e.g. the Scripture you’re tweeting is tied to Sunday’s sermon).
7. You can buy Facebook likes and Twitter followers but you can’t buy influence. Influence is earned, not bought. Always has been, always will be.
8. The church should take the lead on how to use social media. We should be the standard bearers of how to use social media. When someone asks, “How should I conduct myself online?” I hope they look at our church staff and see how to do it right.
9. Small is the new big. If you’re a small church, I think you have an advantage on social media. You can take your time to interact with your people online since you’re dealing with a smaller congregation. Large churches may have more resources, but you can be quicker and nimbler, which is a big advantage on social media.