Previously at the Café, we have discussed ettiquette around pastoral transitions at length. But while it is one thing to modify relationships in real time, what do you do with relationships maintained over Facebook?
Alban Institute addresses the issue of social media and pastoral transitions.
Adam Walker Cleaveland first counsels against more than one Facebook account, both for reasons of ease, transparency, and because doing otherwise is a breach of the terms of service.
Also, he advises that a complete purge of all people related to a previous call isn’t necessary (or necessarily helpful), but a step back from those relationships from a season might be in order, either by temporarily muting their status updates, or just through some patience.
Give people space: In most cases, you’ll be leaving one church and moving on to a place you’re really excited about. But everyone else is staying where they were – they don’t get to share in your excitement about new opportunities and possibilities. Give them the space and time (online) to grieve that you are not their pastor anymore. If you’re constantly checking in with them, commenting on their Facebook status updates, it doesn’t give them the space they need.
Read the whole article here.
What has been your practice when handling transition through social media?