Social media can be a powerful tool, but it can help or hinder your business or organization. Churches that use social media are seen as relevant and credible as long as they use it appropriately. The key to reaching your congregation and those beyond your local church is to make sure you are using the right social platforms and using them correctly. There are also some things to make sure you don’t do in order to protect leadership, ministries and individuals.
Posted by: Thom Rainer at ChurchLeaders.com
7 Warnings to Church Leaders on Social Media
Social media is a two-edged sword. It can be used for good or great harm. And it can harm the ministries of those in Christian leadership. So, whether your platform is a blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus or many others, please note these seven warnings. Indeed, it is my prayer that you will heed these seven warnings.
Consider anything you say on social media to be permanent. Yes, you can delete or scrub regretful things you have said on social media, but, more times than not, the information can still be retrieved. And countless people take screen shots the moment they see something unwisely posted.
You can be misunderstood often on social media. The readers or viewers usually cannot see your body language. They don’t know your humor or sarcasm. If you have any question about something you will post, don’t post it.
Emoticons are not sufficient to soften what you have posted. In fact, emoticons are so ubiquitous now that many readers ignore them.
Attacks on other people’s character or positions are considered cowardly by many. The reader or the viewer typically sees the person writing the information as one who hides behind a keyboard or microphone. They wonder if the writer would have the courage to say the same things in person.
Too many Christian leaders are posting on social media in the heat of emotional moments. If you are angry or otherwise agitated, take a 24-hour break from social media. If not, you may regret it later.
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You never know who may liking, sharing, watching or listening to you on social media. It can be an effective tool when used correctly or incredibly offensive when used incorrectly. The tips above are great best practices to follow. In our online world social media can help churches stay current or create hostility. We hope you heed these warnings and remain cautious, but still creatively use social media in the best ways to stay connected with your church.
How is your church using social media?