Adam Copeland, writing at The Christian Century comments on rules for pastors using Facebook.
"Should I post or should I not?" I ask myself this when I'm thinking of posting a particularly snarky religion-related Facebook status update that would entertain my old seminary friends, go over my high school friends' heads and unsettle some members of my congregation.
Pastoral ministry is a public calling, and in our social-media age this calling extends to online identities and relationships. I laud the possibilities social media presents and urge the church to use the tools for the kingdom. But just as church-owned houses offer particular challenges to a pastor and family when members drop in unannounced to fill the fridge with makings for the women's tea, Facebook offers the challenge of unclear and ever-changing boundaries.
Facebook practices he recommends:
Though I am Facebook friends with several church youth, I only post to their public walls rather than sending private messages. (I do use the message function for messages to multiple youth and their parents.)
I rarely put up status messages; it's too difficult to write something with so many different audiences in mind.
My interactions on Facebook tend to be affirming and broad-minded rather than combative or controversial.
Whatever my privacy settings, I always assume that anything on Facebook could be read by anyone at any time.
How do you use Facebook? Do you limit your participation? Have separate accounts? What are the best practices IYHO?
calendar from Church Pension Group 2010