Numerous leaders, including myself, have “liked” and shared and commented on things as our “personal self,” being funny, cute, political, to debate, etc. We feel we can put on our “personal hat” and take off our “ministry hat.” Many post pictures and comments that they think in their “personal life,” are funny, while others may be deeply offended and feel they are inappropriate for Christians.
When we go into ministry, we become a public figure that people watch and judge. This could even be said for when we publicly profess to be a follower of Jesus. Everything we do is compared to what people see as good or bad in the church overall. We are either seen as a good example to follow or the reason that people do not become Christians.
Many might slam our President or his policies, forgetting that every elected president was elected by a majority vote. Some go online and slam conservative Christians for being upset at gay scenes on television. Many have been debating with others, not respecting the person’s opinions or feelings, believing they’re right and the other is wrong, repelling people. Many, not typically from this group, but some, slam the world and the gay community for being perverse.
We must be careful that we do not build a barrier by the views we so vehemently and publicly share. Our anger is not drawing anyone to Christ, but simply entrenching them in their position against the church. Love, prayer, and relationship are what won me to the Lord and I believe should be our approach.
I say all of this because a beloved, respected and accomplished leader recently posted a picture with a “humorous” comment and additional comments that many of us would think was humorous, while others were so angry that they’ve now asked me to never ask him to speak at our conferences. Those who hit “like” and commented in agreement of the “humor” are now being put with this person as being immature or even vulgar. Many of us, not thinking of our “public” role may have done the same thing, hit like, or chimed in thinking it was humorous as well.
Also, I’ve had to speak to numerous leaders that have been debating in groups angering others and triggering themselves. People are blocking people’s comments, holding grudges for things that have been said. Some have said that they cannot take the conflict.
I hope you will realize that your “personal” Facebook and Twitter, etc. is not “personal,” it’s an arm of the church, a reflection of this ministry, and a witness to the character of Christ. Please be careful what you share and communicate. Is it being done with the heart and mind of Christ? Let’s humble ourselves and make sure that neither our private life nor our public life on social media are in conflict with our ministry message and calling.