Churches need to use social media to connect with the congregation and the community.
This is a summary of a talk I’ve given a few times as part of the High Street presentation on Social Media and the Church.
Having a social media policy is important, and as with any policy it’s best you keep it short. When you create a policy, follow it, or don’t have one. It must be understandable and enforceable. Our policy says “As an employee of High Street, your behavior on social media is a reflection of the church and should be appropriate.”
Terms of Service are legal documents that define how you interact with the service provided by the companies who manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. If you agree without reading them, you may violate their policy and have your account suspended. Also, keep in mind the rules are there for a reason. For example, Facebook does not allow anyone under the age of 13 to create an account. If you allow or even encourage your child to create an account, remember you are encouraging them to lie and misrepresent.
When it comes to using social media, the most important admonition I can give is - Watch Out!
Before you type, remember who you represent. You represent Jesus, your church, your family and yourself. People ARE watching. What we allow, our followers embrace. Does it pass the “Washington Post” test? Are you willing to have what you say posted on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow morning?
Be wise in all your personal communication - anything written down can usually be used in a court. The current Department of Justice position is they don’t need a warrant to read your email, Facebook chats and private messages, Twitter direct messages (DMs). This care about personal digital interaction should be the same as it is in person - don’t be stupid. Texting a 12 year old inappropriate might cause you to lose your job or land you in jail. As a leader, be wise in your interaction.
Social media is a great tool, but it also brings danger. Spammers and scammers are fighting to get your information. Be careful who you follow, friend and what you “like.” Those connections will make you more susceptible to viruses, malware, phishing and other scams.
Track every account your church has. Be sure nothing bad is posted. When someone has a negative comment, respond wisely. Sometimes you may need to take it down. Moderate all Facebook pages.
Handle people’s bad behavior Biblically. Handle criticism like Nehemiah - ignore it (Nehemiah 6:3) Deal with problems the way Solomon recommends - public praise, private correction (Proverbs 27:5).
Above all, remember that Satan seeks to destroy you in any way possible. This includes social media. What what you like, who you follow, what you post and what you say.
Remember that communication is often about more than the written word. The written word does not express tone, volume, etc.
Keep it positive!
NPM Social Media Policy - http://insidenorthpoint.org/admin/files/2009/03/npm-social-media-guidlines.pdf
Why your church should use Twitter - http://www.twitterforchurches.com
It Matters Whom You Marry -
My husband and I were once with a youth group. There were three kids sitting across from us at a meal: two guys and a girl. The one guy was a computer geek with glasses. The other one was a college…
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
“Let us make a name for ourselves.”
This is one of the statements made by the Babylonians that caused God to scatter them across the earth with new languages.
This prideful statement and thought is one that I have had many times in my life. It struck me today that this is a direct violation of what God wants in my life. Yet I’ve sought and even prayed for it many times.
The only time someone has a name made for themselves and it is viewed positively is when God lifts them up. Abraham, just a few verses later in Genesis, is a perfect example. Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”
The only way I want my name “made great” at this point is if God chooses to do so. In my flesh I still want to be famous, well known, important, etc. But I know that anything in that direction done without the work of God will be miserable, difficult and ultimately destructive.
These are notes from a recent marriage workshop I taught at High Street.
Model Christlike Living
From this flows all the others.
You’ve heard of “Do as I say, not as I do”?
Reality - most of the time, children will imitate what they see. You curse, they’ll curse. You drink, they’ll drink. You smoke, they’ll smoke. You talk mean to your wife, their mother, so will they. You disrespect your husband, their father, so will they.
They WILL DO as YOU DO.
1 Corinthians 11:1
1 Corinthians 4:16-18
As parents we model for our children how to be a
Love Like Jesus
How much did Jesus love us?
Unity - Be Unified
1 Peter 3:8
Divide and conquer.
IN Lincoln’s famous speech before he became president (and before the Civil War), he said “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Matthew 5:37 (ESV)
Matthew 6:24 fits this as well (See above)
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Consistency doesn’t mean we should never change. When we have done wrong, or learn more about a situation and need to change our approach, change is GOOD.
When we have done wrong, then we should confess, ask forgiveness, repent and change our ways to line up with Jesus.
The goal of discipline should ultimately be self-discipline.
No one makes me:
go to bed
get up early
read my Bible
watch what I eat
The goal is making the externals become internal.
Example - teaching my daughter to drive. I’m the voice in her head saying “stop, go, slow down, etc.”
Ultimately, the “voice in your head” should be the Holy Spirit who guides you into all truth and is a much better voice than mine :).
5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
This one needs little explanation.
Whoever your child spends time around is who they will imitate. Don’t like the influences in their life? Change them.
I don’t like Barney or Caillou. Neither of those are allowed in my house. On Sunday mornings it’s Veggie Tales or no TV. Period.
If I don’t like the way my child is behaving, the first place I have to look is myself. Am I acting poorly and setting a bad example?
Apples and Trees…
Quality Time is a farce. Jesus spent 3 years training the disciples. They spent most of their time together. He did send them out a few times, and then one day he sent them out because he left.
This will happen to you, too. Are your children ready? Whose voice will be in their head?
Acts 2:22; 20:35
For each of us, they should be the words and actions of Jesus.
General Christian Themes of Behavior
What is your goal? Well-behaved children, or well-developed followers of Christ?
2 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
1 Timothy 4:7-13
7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
(material derived directly from Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage)
Negative splits is a running term. For those not “in the know” about such things, it basically describes what happens when someone runs the second half of a race faster than the first half. This means their time is better per mile/kilometer (or split).
What does that have to do with ministry?
The Apostle Paul gives his perspective on life and finishing well in Acts 20:24 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Jesus talks of the man who builds a house and the importance of counting the cost in order that he may finish. He warns that laying a foundation and then not finishing the house will result in ridicule (Luke 14:28-30).
If you run the first part of the race flat-out, but then get injured, distracted or worn out, you won’t finish. That is why most trainers will teach you to pace yourself in the first few miles. Then, once you have settled into a good pace and you aren’t running on the adrenaline of the start, you can run well. Doing this will set you up for a good race and good finish.
How does this apply today?
Looking back in a race will usually just trip you up. Keep your eye on the prize! Press on and do the work of Jesus!
I recently read a Huffington Post article about how we are “cramming religion down children’s throats.”
There are many issues with such a statement and thought. We must teach our children something. No one grows up in a vacuum. If parents are not to decide what to teach their children, then who should? Government? Politicians! My neighbors? What makes you more qualified than me to teach and train my kids? The God you don’t believe in didn’t give them to you! We must teach something; while some children may grow up in immoral circumstances, no child grows up in amoral circumstances.
Why do we teach what we teach? Who determines what is right and wrong? What do you think?
The US Postal Service stands to have $8-10 billion in net losses this year. While they are not government funded, they do report to Congress. In effect, they are expected to break even, but cannot be run the “business” they way they see fit. This limits their ability to operate effectively.
Congress currently is opposed to delivery day changes, like removing Saturday or Tuesday delivery. However, they have no way to solve the cash flow problem experienced by this hybrid organization. If this was UPS, FedEx, or any other corporation, they could raise prices, cut costs, do both or get more creative.
The government changed the way the USPS operates in 1970, moving it from a government agency to a semi-private operation. Unfortunately, this makes a mess for anyone dependent on the Postal Service. The “revenue neutral” restriction means they cannot make a profit. Since they cannot make a profit, it is difficult for them to save money (like Apple has done) and take advantage of the benefits holding cash.
The government needs to either free the USPS to make its own decisions about delivery and financial management, or pull it back into the fold as a government agency. Dependable mail is still an important part of our culture. Maybe the USPS isn’t the best way; maybe it is. Either way, a corporate chimera isn’t working.
The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene H. Peterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Every summer while on vacation, I find a book “by accident.” In 2011, this was the book. I had read other material by Peterson and liked it, but reading his memoirs makes his other works come more alive.
Some have complained that there is some repetition, but I think that is bound to happen when you write as much as he has.
I like his down to earth style and the “realness” of this book. As a pastor who needed encouragement, this book spoke to me. If you serve in leadership in a church, especially as a pastor, I believe this book will encourage you.
View all my reviews
In 12 hours I will run a half marathon. This is my first run of that distance in a race. My previous is 10K. For those not “in the know” about racing, a 10K is about 6.24 miles and a half marathon is 13.1 miles.
The run is at Bass Pro and I am running for OneSolePurpose. My goal is to raise $250 dollars to help fund kids in Springfield who need shoes. So far, I’ve raised $170. I need to raise $80 more.
Here are a few ways to view this:
I must thank those who have given already. For those who have not, please consider doing so. It’s for a great cause and I have personally seen those who are affected by the work we are doing. This year we are providing shoes to over 5,500 children at 21 Title 1 elementary schools in Springfield, Missouri.
If you are able and willing to help, visit www.onesolepurpose.com and click the link to the page where you can give. In case the URL doesn’t show properly, here is the full link: https://highstreet.ccbchurch.com/w_form_response.php?form_id=50
Make sure you pick my name - Tom Demers!
I’ll post tomorrow how the race went and whether or not I reached my goal.