Social media has radically altered the cultural landscape.

As ministry wives, we have an unparalleled opportunity via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., to contribute to the good of our church, family and community.

It’s wise to step back occasionally and evaluate how we are leveraging our leadership platform through these connections.  

Here are four things to remember – the “DO’s” of social media:

DO #shareyourlife (appropriately, of course). Social media offers a place for us to share our interests, family news, photos and our life in general.  These posts enable our church family and community to identify with us and discover who we are. Conversely, it makes us aware of what is happening in the lives of others. 

DO #useyourplatform to engage in meaningful conversations. This is one of the primary advantages of social media – a spiritual leader can address current/cultural events immediately and help others process them through a biblical lens. Using social media for purposeful conversations is effective, helpful and contributes to a strong presence online. 

DO #thinkstrategically. How can you add the most value to the issues that interest you? Posting links to good articles, promoting organizations/causes that are in line with your ministry and just generally edifying others is when social media is at its best.  At the same time, people that share a mix of their personal life, cultural trends, interesting quotes, and good insights keep me scrolling until I find their posts. 

DO #setboundaries. Social media can easily hijack your time and mental energy, becoming a major distraction. As someone said, “When you’ve got five minutes to fill, Twitter is a great way to fill thirty five.” Consider an occasional “technology Sabbath.” The general rule seems to be this: if you can’t go an hour without checking Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you need to face up to your fixation and do something fast. Call it Social Media Maintenance and be vigilant about it. 

You can’t have the “do”s without the “don’t”s. Next we will look at four mistakes well-meaning people frequently make with social media. 

Tell us, what have you found helpful in managing your online connections? 

Published September 3, 2014