Social Media is – like all other forms of communication – a double-edged sword. It serves to instantly connect us to friends, family and fans no matter where they live. It’s also a permanent record of our thoughts and comments – good or bad.
Thom Rainer, President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources, recently published a blog post titled, “Five Reasons Why Pastors Are Getting Fired Because of Their Social Media Posts.” (ThomRainer.com) While his message is tailored to ministers and church leaders, it’s applicable to all of us who represent Christ in our daily work.
Rainer described the five kinds of social media posts that get Christian leaders in trouble:
1) Combative/Sarcastic Comments
2) Political Comments
3) Taking on Church Members (Online
4) Criticizing Others
5) Unsavory Comments
In his article, he also quotes from the Book of James, “If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself … (The tongue) pollutes the whole body and sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.” (James 1:26, 3:6)
As we continue to connect with audiences via social media, it’s important to pause and think through our posts. Rainer’s list is a great place to start. So is Philippians 4:8 – “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable…”
Our witness – our ministry – is based on words. So wherever and whenever you use words – especially on social media – use your words to encourage others and point them to Jesus.
Bill Arbuckle CMW