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5 Best Practices for Social Media

 —  November 27, 2012 — 9 Comments

I think I am pretty “Hip with the teens” I use social media and guess what, so do they. So here is 5 best practices that I have for myself when I am using Facebook / Twitter / Instagram /

On Being Political – I am Canadian and am often fascinated by the U.S. political system, the parties, the leaders, the “dangling chets”, its all very entertaining. That being said, as a leader and a person of influence, I have to remind myself to be mindful of what we project when it comes to politics. I can’t think of a time that it would be healthy or wise for a Youth Pastor to wade into any sort of heated political discussion with their students / parents as potential audience.  Political views are divisive and division among believers isn’t good for anybody. There is a place to debate but Facebook is probably not that place.

On Being Critical – Last week I wrote about being careful where you criticize, because its confusing to students. Whether explicit or passive aggressive, criticism is not really helpful to your students. Being critical of other Churches, denominations and decisions they make can cause more harm than good for students and friends that don’t understand the issues as well as you. Being educated and informed is important, just be mindful of when, where and with whom you have those conversations.

On Being Sketchy – Always remember your audience, and that video your friend sent you, that awesome Meme or funny cartoon will be seen by your eight grade student and his mom. Avoid innuendo, crudeness and anything that could be taken the wrong way. Save that joke for your next dinner party or just save it you know? One of my leaders recently told me he shared something he found online with his students and I nearly fell off my chair, not because of what he shared with them but that he was unsuspectingly endorsing the website it was from. Be thoughtful about what doors you might accidentally open.

On Being Transparent – If you are going to be on social media, and let people into your living room so-to-speak, give them an accurate picture. If you have kids, make sure that every photo isn’t staged and that people can get an understanding of your daily pursuit of a Christ-like life. The good the bad and the ugly.

On Being a Follower – Follow your people! What I mean is people close to you, your students, leaders, your church members. Not following or connecting with the people you minister too makes Twitter a shout of information more than a catalyst for conversation. Following your people allows you to know what God is doing, in all aspects of their life and allows you to know how you can pray for them or find common ground to connecting. Good leaders are great followers.

Geoff – @geoffcstewart 

Geoff Stewart

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9 responses to 5 Best Practices for Social Media

  1. Geoff, thanks for always writing so eloquently yet simple. I am going to be stealing (sharing) this article with my Youth and Young Adult leaders at our next meeting this weekend (don’t worry, I’ll give props to you). I think this is something that all leaders need to read and understand.

    Kris
    Southgate Church

  2. Great words Geoff. I especially appreciated the section on being critical and being a follower. It’s something
    i have been challenged by and have been challenging my leaders to think about more.

  3. Great reminder, Geoff! I echo Kris, in that, I’ll be sharing this with our youth team. Thanks for your insights and wisdom!

  4. I wish I had an insightful comment to share, but instead I’ll say this:

    “Dangling chets” is the funniest thing I’ve read this week.

  5. Thanks for the comments Team, and I am glad someone found my Dangling Chets comment funny. I thought it to be quite hilarious.

    GS

  6. @1000235335 Religion is not a poison, self rthsiougness is. There is alot of lunatics out there that are not religous, however, they use other avenues to justify their insane view and actions. Environmental issues are great example of how non-religious, self righteous nut-bags express their lunacy. That Pastor in a lunatic, but not because he is religious but because he’s a lunatic.

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