Even as I write this, I am hesitant of the lens in which some will see it. I'll start by stating that the views expressed in this blog are solely mine, not necessarily Fellowship Church, although in my conversations with our staff and teams, there probably not far off.
None of us went to any classes or took courses regarding social media postings or texts. You do not have to have any degree or even be of a certain maturity in order to post anything (although many of us wish there were some guidelines!). We are all pretty free to post anything we'd like and some of us really take advantage! It's not like working at a newspaper and having to go through an editing team. You type it and BOOM, it's there for all to see and for all to have their opinion on.
It's very interesting working at a church with many of our attenders here being on some social media. It's not uncommon for two of them to disagree where all can see. That's uncomfortable to me. I get it but I'm not very comfortable with it.
What I've learned along the way is that what you say or post on your personal social media pages can reflect on your church unintentionally. "Oh, he or she thinks this and they go to FC. I'm not going there!" Can you imagine finding out that someone has left the church because of an opinion you had?
I have a dear friend of mine who recently posted something that "got a little out of hand". There was a bunch of back and worth (wasted time), hurt feelings and it all stemmed from a misunderstood post. No one really knows where your heart is when putting something out there. There are assumptions and filters to which we see everything (fairly and unfairly). When I saw my friends post I knew I wanted to have a face to face with them. Not only is this person a friend but they are a leader as well. I met with them in person and talked it out. They saw my face. They knew my heart. There was no misunderstanding. We both left better. Face to face always lessens the possibility of a misunderstanding.
For those of us that would consider ourselves Christians, our presence on social media really is an extension of our personal ministry. It can help or hinder our "influence". Influence here is not to build our ego, I actually mean kingdom building, telling others about Jesus Christ with our actions and yes, even our typed words. How often do you scroll past posts from those certain "Facebook friends" that you no longer wish to be influenced by or have your mood changed by? (You know you have them!)
For me, I would never want my posts to affect the "influence" of the One I follow, Jesus Christ, my church or even my family. So I try to be careful. I try to see my post from other's eyes. My posts are honestly a highlight reel. Great wife, great family, always fun. I try not to take pictures or write posts of any arguments I got into, mistakes I've made or bad parenting days (plenty of them!). No, just the good stuff. I thought this is why there is a Facebook?!? "Best of" Rich Pancoast.
I would say when a desire to post arises, pray and keep it positive because your content is there forever. And if someone else's post offends you, DO NOT COMMENT underneath! It only lengthens the posts timeframe on your newsfeed.