Social media is a strange beast. The lines between what is socially acceptable have not yet been clearly defined as it relates to twitter and the like. While that is the case I am growing increasingly concerned with the way many young ministers seem to use it in the fine art of self promotion.
I am not an expert and have probably crossed the line a time or two but I have put some thought into this. See if you agree with this list of guidelines or if maybe you would add some more.
1. Don’t post numbers. Rarely is it OK to tell everyone how many people you had in your gathering. I am not even sure why that is worth communicating. We have long joked about the the pea-cocking that is done at most networking and associational meetings, “How many did you have in worship, small groups etc?” It’s no different to post it to your facebook.
2. Don’t promote yourself, your book, your latest sermon and the like. Let others tell others about how great it was. Your church heard it and that is why you delivered it, isn’t it.? Who cares if all your preacher friends are subscribed to your podcast? This is probably the most arrogant of all eBoasting. We follow you because we want to hear about your life and stay in contact, not because we want to buy your book or hear your sermon. This is especially odd when your income is not tied to your book sales (I suppose this would be acceptable for authors).
3. Let the church/ministry speak for itself. When you need to post things like the availability of the latest sermon audio or how many registration spots are still available do so through the church’s twitter or facebook. This way it is not boasting but informative. You can share that link and it wont appear so ‘stuck on yourself’, just let others say how great you are.
Maybe I am seeing something that is not there. I can say, however, if every time I see you at the coffee shop the first thing you say is how many services your church is moving too and how many people (ministerially speaking) attended the last CD release party you hosted I’d probably start avoiding you.
Make much of Christ, let your friends and family in on something funny or trivial but don’t boast. It aint a good look.