Social media, SM, can be brutal, even if it’s a site that’s geared for Christian fellowship and advancement. Or, am I being too sensitive?
This week, on a FB group page, a thread was started that asked … “What is one thing you wish you could tell your pastor?” Over 200 comments later, I posted something. And I wished I hadn’t. I try so hard to be an encourager and to be a positive influence.
The overwhelming majority tried to give sound advice but most often the advise was given from a hurt and broken persona. They criticized, they gave their opinion, and they mostly spoke against traditions or structured church polity.
In the church world, the principle of deconstruction is gaining momentum. Deconstruction means to take apart a tradition, belief or practice for the purpose of understanding reality. With so many disgruntled or hurt or disenfranchised with something or someone in the church, a question like this just gave a platform for many to criticize a person, to tear down what many of them believed is a wrong way to do church. And the way the thread flowed, it was most about pastors specifically.
So in this mess, I posted … maybe a better thing to do would be to encourage pastors. Tell them you’re praying for them. Tell people how they love the way their pastor has impacted them _____________________ .
Encourage. Edify. Pray for.
Yet the thread moderator declared openly on the thread that I was arrogant, lacked humility and … well, I was part of the problem.
So I direct messaged the moderator. Apologized if taken that way, but I hoped I could be an encourager. I wrote a blessing for him and backed out of the thread. I’ll think twice before posting again.
How can we stay positive. Karen Swallow Prior wrote an article for Lifeway a few years ago that gave nine manners to have on social media to stay positive …
- Treat the others on SM like they are people, for they are.
- Be yourself.
- Use SM to serve people, not to build a platform.
- Talk to people, not about them
- Don’t exist in an echo chamber (interact with peeps who think different)
- Remember, you will account to God for every idle word,
- Be known for what you’re for more than what you’re against.
- Do nothing from selfish ambition … rather value others above yourself.
- Make sure the fruit of the Spirit is visible in your interactions.
Do these, and maybe you can be used as a positive influence for the Kingdom.