You said WHAT on Twitter??? Thoughts On Social Media and Ministry #Ministry #Leadership

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All of us, at one time or another, have had that moment…the moment that causes us to do a wide-eyed double take. We’re scrolling down our Twitter feed or looking at Facebook and we see something that a friend or family member posted that stops us in our tracks. It’s as if it happens in slow motion and we think, “Why in the world did they hit Send/Post/Go on that before thinking it through?

Social Media forums have forever changed how we interact with one another. There are numerous positive impacts that they have made on us, our lives and ministries; but, there are also some pitfalls and things that we need to avoid. My colleague, Joey Santos wrote a great blog on Social Media. You can find it HERE.

I’d like to offer a few thoughts on using Social Media in light of being involved in ministry. Whether you are a paid staff member or a volunteer at your local church, we need to use thoughtful wisdom when posting to Social Media sites. Thoughts? Please share in the Comments section.

  • You Represent God To The World Around You :: Your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors probably know you are a Christian…or, at least they should. When they see you posting questionable material, thoughts or pictures it can cause them to question your Christian witness. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. Romans 12:1-2 is a great guideline for us: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We are supposed to be different and set apart. Make sure your Social Media presence reflects that. 
  • What You Post Says Something About You :: When your friends read your Twitter feed, what does it say about you? Is it peppered with questionable language, behavior or images? Do you Retweet people who use offensive language? Who do you follow? We are always communicating and so many people have access to what we post. Be thoughtful and know that with every post you are adding to your online reputation. What kind of reputation do you want to build?
  • You Represent Your Church And Your Team :: The right to be a leader is not easily earned. And, whether you are the upfront person leading worship or you are playing in the band or sitting at a computer,  you are a leader. People will see you out at restaurants, the mall, concerts, everywhere you go. What do they see in you? I can promise you that if they see you doing something questionable it will affect how they see you as a leader. One emotional vent can harm your personal reputation and the way they see your church or ministry as well. Guard your reputation and the reputation of the ministry you are involved in.
  • Popularity Doesn’t Make It Right :: All kinds of things become popular in the world. Styles, pictures, sayings can all seep into our consciousness and become part of our lives before we know it. Certain phrases that the world thinks are funny can actually be super offensive to the cause of Christ. Be careful and THINK IT THROUGH before you use it.
  • Your Posts Can Last Forever :: Did you know that pictures you post to Facebook, Twitter & Instagram can live forever? People have the ability to download the pictures you post or at least take a screen shot of them. Even if you go back and delete those later, the copies that they downloaded last forever. Use judgment for all the above reasons and more. Do you want people you don’t know to have access to pictures of you on vacation or with your spouse or in your swimsuit?? Think about it.
  • What Do You Consider Questionable :: Great question. Would you show/read it to your grandma? That may sound old school and IT IS. Unapologetically so. Remember the old saying, “Would you speak like that if Jesus were sitting beside you.” Use that as a measuring stick. Is that hard core? Absolutely. Will it keep you out of trouble? ABSOLUTELY.

This is a starting point to get you thinking about your Social Media Reputation. As I said earlier, it is unapologetically old school. Don’t you think our reputations deserve that?

Comments
10 Responses to “You said WHAT on Twitter??? Thoughts On Social Media and Ministry #Ministry #Leadership”
  1. Jon Wright says:

    Good stuff. I have to remind myself that just pushing “like” puts it on my news feed…

  2. Brian Tabor says:

    Great point JW.

  3. Bettina Higgens says:

    This column MADE MY DAY as it is exactly what it says here “no one can take back anything they say or do” and it is with them always. I know being a Preachers Wife for over 20 years it was hard to always “be on guard as to what you do and say” however, we all are human beings and will continue to make mistakes however; we just have to think twice before saying and doing. I know for sure I am not perfect and never will be only God is the perfect one but he does expect us to TRY hard to watch what we do, say, go and wear on our backs.

    Thanks for the nice note regarding this JOEY, great job and we all have to remember we are not PERFECT BUT HAVE TO TRY TO BE AS GOD WANTS US TO BE.

    THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL, GREAT ARTICLE JOEY.

    BETTINA HIGGENS
    Good luck choir on your upcoming performances. I am so proud of each of you as you ALL do such a great job in the choir and you have a wonderful and GREAT LEADER. Good luck on all you do.

    Your friend in Christ,
    Bettina Higgens

  4. David Freeman says:

    Excellent blog Brian! Over the course of many years I have learned the hard way, often through embarrassing situations, to take a second and run my statement of intended humor or sarcasm through my mind before I speak. Asking myself, “Do I really want to say that? I still so often miss the mark, which if you know me very well, will tell you just how “off” I could have been…..and still can be. Considering the more permanent nature of the social network I use more restraint in my “off the cuff” remarks. But the real goal is to consistently sound more like Jesus and less like David.

  5. Brian Tabor says:

    Great thoughts David. Grateful for you and the heartfelt wisdom you bring.

  6. Cheri says:

    Great thoughts Brian! I do agree! We need to watch carefully because others sure are!!

  7. Brian Tabor says:

    Bigtime. Thanks for reading, C!

  8. Love it! All of it is true, but I especially like third in the list. I used to tell my choir all the time – all of you are worship leaders, because someone is watching you. Good word, Bro!

  9. Victoria L. says:

    Yes! And the passive-aggressiveness needs to stop, too. I’ve hidden ministry leaders because it’s awkward to read posts when you know who the intended target is. It’s not God-like and it’s actually gossip and slander-the bible teaches us about this.

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  1. […] In light of those things, it was with great interest that I read Brian Tabor’s recent post, You Said What On Twitter??? […]



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