Everybody seems to be on facebook these days. I, yes I, the old church pastor of 50 have my own facebook page. Ha, even our church has a facebook page. But is facebook a great place for socializing and building relationships or is it a place to tear down relationships and reputations? Every time you post something, you risk hurting others (and yourself). So, here are 18 things you want to avoid doing on facebook.
Facebook is a great way for you to build and maintain relationships with people both inside your church and in your community. But facebook is not without its risks. Every time you post something, you risk hurting, offending or distancing yourself from people. So, here are 18 things you want to avoid doing on facebook…
First, the ugly…Don’t…
1. Post something out of frustration in the heat of the moment. We all get frustrated at times. And if you want to engage people authentically, you need to “keep it real.” But facebooking when angry, frustrated, or hurt is never a good idea. Take a few minutes (or a few hours) to cool down, and then think again if you really want to use facebook to vent.
2. Criticize people. Even if you don’t use a person’s name.
3. Embarrass yourself. Expect everyone in your congregation and your community to see everything you post to facebook. So, don’t post anything you wouldn’t be comfortable saying or showing from the front of your church on a Sunday morning.
4. Embarrass your family. Our spouses and kids say and do funny things all the time. Most of those things can be posted to facebook with no problem, and they help people to see you’re a normal person with a normal family. But be sensitive and when in doubt, ask your spouse and kids if it’s OK to share a quote, happening, or pic online.
5. Criticize other churches in the community. Every church has a different mission, ministry philosophy, style of worship, and theology. But we all share one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. We should be known for our unity not our division.
6. Only talk about your church. When people become facebook friends with you, it’s because they want to engage with you – a real person – not a spokesperson for your church.
7. Share everything posted to the church FB page.
8 . Just talk about yourself. Do you like hanging around with people who only talk about themselves and never ask you about you? Don’t be one of those people online either.
9. Act like your life is perfect. Nobody is perfect, and everyone knows it. If you do, you’ll be perceived as inauthentic, wearing a mask.
10. Act like you’re always “joyful in the Lord.” Nobody is happy all the time either.
11. Act like you have all the answers. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Share insight and advice when asked. Don’t be arrogant.
12. Act like the language/morality police. Your facebook friends are not perfect. They are going to share things you don’t agree with. If something is really bad, consider contacting the person privately, but don’t call people out publicly for what is unfortunately common behavior in our culture. And probably you do something similar in your own life.
13. Roll out the fire and brimstone. I know preaching about sin and hell worked with past generations, but it’s not going to put you in a position to influence people on facebook. People on Facebook respond much more favorably to hope and love.
14. Be overly political. It’s OK to take stands on key issues, but don’t act as though your thought are the only thoughts on any matter especially politics.
15. Engage people in debates. Discussion is great, but if things get heated or personal, it’s time to lighten up.
16. Post a lot of theological stuff that’s over the head of your friends.
17. Login once every week or two. Relationships require consistency. You can take breaks, go on vacation, and don’t need to be on facebook every day, but you’ve got to be regular if you’re going to build relationships in facebook.
18. Fail to respond. When people send you messages, post to your wall, or post comments to your status updates and links, it’s important to respond. Answer people’s questions. Thank people for their insight and stories.
(Based on Paul Steinbrueck’s 18 Ways to Ruin Your Reputation of Facebook)
As I wrap up this week’s Pastor’s Pen I want to remind you about the first Sunday in February. That Sunday our bulletin will contain a survey. Following is a list of the questions you will be asked to answer. I have included them here again so that you can begin now to prayerfully compose your answers so that we will not be long in completing the survey and so that you can truly pray about your responses and not be taken by surprise.
- What do you see as the PURPOSE for HCBC? (Why do you think God raised up a people called Henards Chapel Missionary Baptist Church)
- What should our MISSION be? (Please write out a mission statement for HCBC)
- What is the one thing you think would really HELP HCBC be the church Christ wants her to be?
- How SATISFIED are you with the direction of the church? (1 – 10, with 1 = not satisfied at all – 10 = completely satisfied)
- If you are not satisfied, what changes need to be made so that we will be moving in the right direction to God’s Glory?
- What is a SERMON, series of sermons, or BIBLE STUDY would you like to help you meet your spiritual needs and help you grow?
- Are you PRAYING for HCBC daily, and if not will you commit to PRAY EVERYDAY for at least one month?
Also, would you join me and many others in CRYING OUT TO GOD for Him to do here in Hawkins County what he did in Clay County Kentucky as witnessed on the DVD, “An Appalachian Dawn?” PLEASE come to Cherokee High School on Saturday February 4th at 10:00 am and bring everyone you can with you who realizes drugs are a problem, and who want to see God move in our county, and who are willing to help. For more information and to respond to this invitation, please go to www.Expecting-Gods-Help.com and please keep this effort in your prayers.
Together in Christ’s Service,