This conversation goes two ways typically…
First is – why would I want to be on Facebook that is the devil’s den and there is no good that can come from such a disgusting, worldly type of awful influence.
You get the picture.
Second is – why wouldn’t I want to be on Facebook that is the devil’s den where I can be a light to so many and tell my interesting stories, share the Message and bring a whole lot of people to Heaven with me.
Two perspectives, but which is right?
Can I say both and none.
Facebook and Twitter are kind of the same, but very different and both are not the same as blogging. Facebook however, being a top social media site is one that has an easy on-ramp and can be used for good – it can also paint a huge target on your back. Informationally, this site can be a great resource for staff and members but can also make you vulnerable to in multiple ways.
Lets take a look at some good and bad things about FB as a pastor.
- You’re there and so are your members. What a happy place and what a great way to communicate with the people up close.
- Living in the real world. You’re not just a pastor but you kinda like a real person too. When you share aspects of your life on FB, people will closely relate to you more as someone they can connect with. “Wow, take a look…Pastor John likes Van Halen too…he just became my new fav pastor and he is so authentic to me. One of his likes is Bennigan’s – its like we are the same person!”
- Talk to me. FB makes it really easy to Messenger and comment on things you talk about and its not just your church community but larger conversations that are happening as well as real-time events that you are contributing to as well. “Pastor John, thank you for that quick explanation of end-times, I look forward to dying now…kidding!”
- You’re there and so are your members. Living in a glass-bowl can be multi-faceted for a person who stands in the pulpit one day and then says something online that can be easily taken out of context and take on a life of its own. “Wow, Pastor John must be losing his faith…he says he doesn’t want to live anymore (…if they don’t bring back season 4 of Madam Secretary). We should pray for him.”
- Living in the real world. You have a life, thats a fact. But what you failed to realize is that while you were liking the newest Van Halen album – Sister Mary Crabapple just read an article that explained with scripture how listening to David Lee Roth will send you and your church straight to H-E-double-hockey sticks. Ain’t no stopping now…Panama!!
- Talk to me. The ease of conversation spills into unwanted territory of timing and content. Imagine, you are in pre-game waiting to go up on stage to deliver something that God has placed on your heart for a while now…and ding! you look at your phone and its Sister Mary Crabapple messaging you about this last sermon series and how its causing everyone to leave the church and look who is sitting on the front row …giving you the.evil.eye. (Mic drop.)
Okay, Joe which is it? Continue with my FB life and who will watch my chickens on Farmville? Or, release this beast and wash my hands of the devils work?
If I was your dad, I would say that the bad, in this case, can be a double negative which will seem like you will be forever editing, forever censoring and forever watching your words, your life and everything else online in such a way that your social media footprint will become smaller and smaller. But, I am not your dad and who needs that type of junk anyway?
But on the other hand…what better way to find a close connection with your membership and let them know the real you…and where else are you going to waste time with cat and pickle videos?