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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

18 Apr '13

Social media and ministry staff

Posted by T.J. Addington in social media

Like all technology, social media is a double edged sword. It has its advantages and it can get individuals and ministries in trouble - depending on who uses it and how. In addition, what many ministry staff do not always think about is that what they post reflects in some way on the ministry they represent.
That is why, for instance, I do not take political stands on my blog. Whether I like it or not, as a senior vice president of the EFCA, my words can be seen to represent a denominational view and thus I am careful about the issues that I address on Facebook, Twitter, my blog and other avenues of social media. The same issues exists for ministry staff everywhere - even if they are not aware of it. 
This applies to both our words and our pictures. One ministry started to receive feedback on one of their female staff members who in the name of "fashion" raised eyebrows with her skimpy outfits online. She was a newer believer and had not thought of the implications. Transparency can be good but too much can be problematic.
Ministry staff represent something and as public figures to that extent must take into account who they represent. They are not private citizens in the social media space. The same goes for conversations online which when they cross the line from appropriate to inappropriate reflect poorly on the organization they represent.
Thus my question: Does your organization or ministry have a set of expectations regarding how your key staff engages in social media and have you communicated those expectations? It is far better to have a conversation now rather than face embarrassment later. Some of your staff have most likely not even thought about it.