Social Media Ministry Guidelines

January 17, 2017

People will tell you not to write articles telling people not to do this or not to do that, but I am going to write one anyway.  Over the years I have seen a lot of good behaviour and a lot of bad behaviour in social media.  Facebook in particular is a place where I experienced much of what I am talking about today.  I pray that this will help you to engage people more effectively. 

1.       Don’t argue – There are times in social media when people make comments that don’t rest well inside of me.  I delete them.  From experience, I have learned that just because a person ask a question doesn’t mean they are asking it to be answered.  You can feel something behind the question.  There is a question behind the question, and the spirit of it isn’t good.  At one time I would engage such people but found that it did more damage than good.  I lost a lot of friends as result.  People would begin to join the argument and before you know it I was blocking three and four people from writing on my wall.  Social media is awesome but it is also shallow.  This shallowness comes out quickly when people begin to argue.  Therefore avoid arguments if you can.

2.       Don’t engage the trolls – There are some people that don’t mean to be trolls but they become trolls nonetheless, and then there are people who are trolls.  These people feel the need to police your content.  They will speak on your walls only when they dislike what you are saying.  After nine years of ministering on Facebook, I can recognize these kind of folks a mile off.  When they write on my wall and I don’t like it I delete it.  This gets some people upset but I don’t really care.  If people want to make negative statements they can do so on their own wall.  I feel that I am protecting not just myself but my followers when I do such a thing.     

3.       Don’t feel the need to engage everyone – When you have thousands of people following you on social media, it isn’t possible to engage everyone all of the time.  Most people understand this but some do not.  Engage people on your own terms and when you feel comfortable doing so.

4.       Don’t hide behind a horse profile pic – I know I am going to stir some folks with this comment but people trust you more when you have a real picture of yourself as a profile pic.  There are many accounts out there where people use pics of animals, or flowers or trees to depict themselves.  An example of this is: when you go through their profile there are often no real pics of the person, or there is one from 1982.  And before you start writing me to tell me all the reasons why you can’t share a picture, please, be blessed.  I have no desire to argue with you on the topic.  I just find people who don’t share real pics of themselves a bit untrustworthy. 
 
5.       Don’t sleep with your phone – I simply mean don’t always be available to people.  People will drain the energy from your life.  You don’t have to be available 24/7.  You can tell people that you are busy and you will get back to them.  You don’t have to respond to everyone who writes you.  For me that would be impossible.  People will try to communicate but it doesn’t mean you have to continually be there for them.
 
6.       Don’t be demanding – There are some people who think that because they can reach you, then you should be available for them, and their every need.  They get upset when you don’t respond to them.  They think they know you, but they don’t know you.  They also ask personal questions that are not appropriate to be answered.

7.       Don’t just follow people you think will do something for your life – I have had people follow me for a season, and have later learned that it wasn’t really about relationship, but rather it was about what I could do for them.  Once what I could do for them was done then so was the relationship.  This is not real. 

8.       Present good content – If you want to build a following, having good content will help your ministry.  Whatever it is you are good at present in a packaged form.  If you do great videos, then do videos.  If you are a great cook and have a recipe to share, then share recipes.  Do a blog and present your writings.  If you are an artist share your art.  Share a good joke now and then.

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