Facebook can be a helpful tool for pastors. Pastors can use Facebook and other forms of social media to forward their ministries. As I’ve written elsewhere, you’re missing a major ministry opportunity if you’re not on Facebook.
However, Facebook and other forms of social media are tools, and there are many ways pastors can use them poorly. Pastors, here are five ways not to use Facebook and social media:
Social media is a tool, not an escape.
1. Don’t criticize your church and its people.
It’s one thing to be discouraged in ministry, but it’s another thing entirely to openly mock or criticize your ministry on social media. And think about it: Why would anyone want to join your church if its pastor spends his time complaining about its flaws?
If you are discouraged in ministry, you can find constructive spaces to work through your discouragement. For example, LifeWay has the pastoral care hotline. Call them at 1-844-4PASTOR.
2. Don’t use social media belligerently.
There are times when it’s proper to pursue a lost sheep, and none of those times include aggressively posting or messaging that person on social media.
3. Don’t use social media to advance your political agenda.
Pastors, ask yourself this question: Are you a herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ, or a bandwagoner for a certain political party? If you are having a hard time answering that question you may be the latter.
Scan your recent social media posts, and evaluate what your social media presence says your priorities are.
Are you a herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ, or a bandwagoner for a certain political party?
4. Don’t use social media to waste time.
Social media is a tool, not an escape. If you are using it as an escape from ministry, delete the app until such a time as you can use it as the tool that it is.
If you need a break from ministry, try spending time in prayer, with friends, or reading a book — all of which can be more constructive ways to spend your time.
5. Don’t use social media to build your own kingdom.
When times are good, it’s easy to get a complex as a pastor. Don’t let your social media usage be the place you flaunt your awesome-ness and talk about your latest pithy quote. Use these tools to advance God’s kingdom, not your own.
An easy way to gauge this is to look at the last 5-10 things you’ve posted. Are they predominately about you?
Pastors, you are called to a great responsibility of serving the body of Christ. And your social media usage is part of that responsibility. Use this tool well for God’s glory and the good of your church.