Every Idle Word: Eight Cautions for Ministers On Social Media

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Social media has become our face to the world. When we use it well, it can be a great tool for ministry and relationships.

When it’s done badly it can cause massive, sometimes irreversible harm. Some pastors have lost ministry positions because of their negative online behavior.

Here are eight rules that help keep me out of trouble as I produce content and make comments on blog posts, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter and more.

Read more at Pivot

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3 thoughts on “Every Idle Word: Eight Cautions for Ministers On Social Media”

  1. I am responding following point 7 – writing off line first. All of the points are excellent and greatly in need of practice, not just online but every time believers connect face to face. I have found believers very unpracticed at substantive interaction, both clergy and laity. In Hebrews 10:24,25, we are told the “habit of meeting” believers are “not to forsake” is “provoking one another” combined with “encouraging one another”. This is strong, substantive communication all prepared in advance of the meeting. “Let us consider how we can…” tells us we must think deeply about truth and love before we meet, and then deliver it and respond after it is offered. This “one another” “provoking” and “encouraging” is to be done “all the more as we see the day approaching”. Yet when believers gather the system in place leads us to enjoy one-way communication and a a large amount of surface “how’s it going” oriented dialogue in between formal sessions. So both the one up front and the saints facing him are very un-practiced at two-way communication. As I speak with some believers about God’s design for believers meeting they will tell me they don’t like two-way communication. They think it’s dangerous. It’s a waste of their time. Believers must learn to highly value two-way communication or we will be very good at giving out “idle words” and either over or under responding. There are many pastors blogs where there is no opportunity to respond to what they say. They don’t want comments, feedback or anything. For the sake of some flamers, they shut all responses down. They assume there is no help for the flamers. You cannot change their mind. Jesus knew the Pharisees would never change their minds but he spoke to them anyway because he was a servant. An equal problem to “idle words” is no words at all and the direct understanding that we don’t even want to engage. Silence is not always golden. A “soft answer turns away wrath” , not complete disengagement.
    I know I need more practice at “speaking the truth in love.” This is God’s formula for believers to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” I appreciate your invitation to interact. I hope others will follow your example.

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