Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest,YouTube, Musical.ly, or a new platform being built as I type, social media is the go-to source for news, entertainment, and knowledge. As a pastor, I’m well aware that the younger generation in my church will remember what I post more than what I preach. And if I want to keep my sheep full, I am better off feeding them online than through a printed bulletin.
Some people use their SM accounts to share articles, post pics of their kids, or to discuss political opinions. I use mine primarily for ministry.
Is it wrong to use SM to keep up with friends? Of course not. Is it foolish to talk politics on SM? Not all the time. But I encourage you to choose HOW you use your Facebook or Snapchat account. Here is my challenge for you: Use social media for ministry.
Here’s how I do it (and I’m still learning!):
- I avoid posting or commenting anything controversial. You can be controversial online if you want - that’s your choice. But personally, I don’t ever want to post something unnecessary that would offend my average SM follower and take away my opportunity to pour into them. (Disclaimer: Jesus and Christianity can be offensive to some, but since topics related to the gospel or my church are my whole purpose for having an online presence, I post about it a lot.)
- I try to be strategic and thoughtful. Rarely will I snap a picture of my dinner plate and post it online; if I do, I have some purpose in mind beyond “this looks so tasty, I’m going to share it with the world!” I certainly avoid posting things in the moment that just come to me. I want everything that comes out of my keyboard’s mouth to be used by God in helping others.
- I think of social media as a platform. After all, that’s what it is. Platforms are used by speakers to advertise something and get a message out. Sometimes advertising myself (i.e. Posting pictures of my vacation or something) is my way of building rapport and staying close to old friends so that I can better advertise Jesus and other leaders later on. I frequently share quotes for leaders, Bible verses, church events, or challenges.
When I read the Bible, I get the impression that Jesus wants me to use everything I have to bring Him glory and lead others towards a relationship with Him. That includes my money, my house, my car, my health, my time - and also the platform of my social media accounts. It’s all for ministry.
What will you use social media for?