I have stated my “love-hate relationship” with social media (SM) many times in different places, but because our ministry is growing daily, there are always new folks coming along who do not know why I don’t engage people on social media, especially those who want to disagree.
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The reasons I don’t get into argumentative discussions on social media like my Facebook ministry page are three:
No Public Conflict
I disdain arguing in front of a group of people, whether in cyberspace or the human world. The first call to action for Christians to disagree is private (e.g., Matthew 18:15-17). I do not mind disagreement at all when done in appropriate contexts, which is why I link folks to our site, so they can talk (or disagree) in a more private setting. (You must log in with your free username and password.)
Burnt Out Christians
We have a lot of burnt out Christians who are tired of the critical “back and forth” that is within our culture, as well as what they see in the world. Today, everyone has a voice, and only a few have a social filter, let alone a biblical one. And, maybe, more importantly, we have many lost folks on our ministry page, and it is a big deal to me that they see how we Christians “get along.” (Read Ephesians 4:29)
Say No to Sharecropping
Finally, Facebook is a “sharecropping page.” Meaning, I do not own that page. I’m beholding to what Facebook wants to do. Recently, Twitter announced they are deleting “far right” twitter accounts. SM platforms can do what they want to do with anyone, for any reason, and if they decide to delete my account(s), our ministry could disappear. Thus, I can’t choose Facebook as my primary place to build our ministry, i.e., talk, discuss, etc. That would be foolish.
This last point is a matter of “ministry survival,” which is why we direct folks, who want to talk, to our website, a place where we do “own” the platform, perchance Facebook disappears or deletes us. Recently, a friend of mine lost her Facebook ministry page, which meant she lost over 200,000 followers. Recovering from that is hard.
Redundant: I do not mind disagreement, but I choose the place where we will disagree, and Facebook is not that place. If what you want to say is that important to you, then you’ll leave Facebook, come to our site, and we can talk all day long.
We have never turned anyone away, and, by the grace of God, we never will. Our Facebook page will always remain a platform that encourages the body of Christ, and never a place for argumentation.
I realize my approach to social media engagement is not the norm in the world of social media. Even the marketing gurus tell you that controversy sells, which is why they say you want folks to be in conflict with each other on your SM platforms. Our world is angry enough, and I don’t want to be complicit in the hostility. If you desire to chat, please go here. You must be logged in with your free username and password.
- Would you say to a person’s face what you tell them in cyberspace?
- Do you know how to engage a person you disagree with humbly?
- Are you more apt to make statements or ask questions? Statement-makers think they have all the information they need (omniscient) while question-askers suspect (humility) they might not have all the data needed to formulate a response.
- How does your fear of others come in play when talking to individuals in cyberspace? (See question #1)
- Do you have “low-grade anger” in your heart that governs how you passively (or not so passive) communicate on your SM platforms?
Also published on Medium.