Blogger Bruce Reyes-Chow, a great fan and user of social media and the interwebs, writes about the dangers of distraction, creating echo chambers, and self-disclosure that come might come with ministering on-line.
You see, as one who interacts with many church folks online, I deeply believe that some of you have used this technology as vehicle for distraction, escape and avoidance from life, ministry and call. Of course this is not a phenomenon that is confined only church folks and I may be overstepping my bounds, but, because I care so deeply for you and for the churches you serve, I want you to avoid heading down a dangerous road.
First, let me say that I KNOW that there are times when online community provides all of us a safe place to find meaning, healing, support, etc. As one who is fully supportive of embracing and integrating social media into the life of the church, I am in no way advocating any kind of blanket limit, ban or rejection of this powerful communication medium. So please to not hear these things as a plea to turn away from social media. That said, let me point out three dangers that I perceive happening as I have watched some of you interaction twitter, facebook, etc.
Pastor David Hansen responds, saying “Hey, don’t scare the horses!”
Ask anyone who advocates for the church to use social media as a tool for ministry. People are already afraid of it. Those who are not using social media have a laundry list of fears. Yes, some are real concerns, like what Bruce has named here. They are possible. But just because they are possible, does not mean that they are probable.
Let’s get people out of the garage and onto the road before we start handing out NASCAR safety equipment. Warning signs are not for those who are in the garage, but those who are on the road.