Avoiding Pitfalls in Ministry through Social Media

When we engage online, we face temptation to make too much or too little of ourselves

There has never been a time when the message of the gospel could be spread more widely around the globe than today, through the avenue of social media. I'm a mom of two small boys who uses social media to spread messages of hope. From my laptop in my living room, I can write an encouraging blog post that can go to endless lengths I will never know of, just with the click of a button. I can share freedom and truth in 140 characters on Twitter that can go through endless networks I may never meet face-to-face. I can post a status update on Facebook that can be shared with friends of my friends and their friends in a matter of minutes. All while drinking my coffee and watching my boys jump off the walls.

Who Do You Think You Are?

It's a remarkable world we're living in. That said, with this unlimited potential has also come an unspoken oppression over those who seek to use social media for good. I remember the first post I published on my blog and the backlash from both friends and strangers coming at me with accusations with an underlying tone of "Who do you think you are?" I was accused of narcissism and wanting the spotlight. Many saw my blogging as an attempt to get to the top. The top of what? was my thought in response.

At that point, giving up to please others was tempting. Was I really trying to be a superstar? Through contemplation I came to the conclusion that my desire was to see God's Kingdom grow in a world in need and if I didn't speak out, issues that God pressed on my heart such as addictions, poverty, and trafficking would remain under the proverbial rug. Considering the Internet has made expression, creativity, and writing our message open to all, I'm not convinced there's a "top" to get to.

I recently had a friend tell me she had a secret confession. I prepared myself for a dark, soulish experience, but instead I heard her whisper her desire to start a blog. Seriously? That was it? That was the deep, dark secret? When I asked her why she felt this was such a big deal, she replied, "Who am I to start a blog?" She had felt the waves of the unheard voices telling her she had to be somebody special to blog. How did this message start, and who's feeding it?

Follow Me!

Some face an opposite temptation to use social media to expand their influence and gain power. Obsession with "klout" scores and Google Analytics is a great example of this. When we become preoccupied with our klout scores, or with how many blog hits, likes on Facebook, or retweets we've had on Twitter, we've really missed the point.

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August 01, 2013 at 9:55 AM

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