More often than not, pastors have a personal digital presence to connect with their community. And sometimes, they even create a ministry pages for themselves. But does it contribute to the church’s mission? Or is it just one of the unnecessary things, but we keep doing anyway? Will it help pastors to have ministry pages to make the most out of their time online?
Let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages by checking out our members’ experiences shared in our Church Communications Facebook group.
We see that through having another medium of connection, churches are able to limit the overwhelming line of communication that a pastor could experience through social media. This has shown to be very useful in larger churches.
“He is very approachable in person, so we found that people were quick to message him personally on Facebook. That quickly became something he simply could not manage — and we didn’t want to manage personal messages from individuals thinking only he was reading them. Having a page enabled us to manage that better.” Steven W. Murray
Here, there are 3 different avenues in which a pastor’s ministerial page can be useful:
“Audience: Potential connections that the church page may not be able to have as an influence on.
Reach: Things like live videos can get broadcast from both pages.
For the Pastor: Identity beyond the particular church that can grow with them.” Jared Rendell
We know that with any kind of focus or highlighting in the Christian community, ministry can become self centered and take away from the true heart of our calling. We as leaders in the Church need to be mindful of our influence and the message that certain actions can give. It is always great to be cautious and construct detailed parameters in which we make changes in this digital age.
“There’s also a suggestion of making the message about the person if the page is under a person’s name, and I’ve seen individuals become “celebrities” instead of disciples. Again, it doesn’t mean one couldn’t do a page, but it’s a caution I would have.” Katie Livingood
“Split audience; ministry focused on the person and their skills or magnetism or whatever it may be rather than Jesus and Christian community – aka who’s the famous one here?
Reach goes down and part of the following leaves when the pastor does.
Potential Confusion: People pick apart everything that’s said, shared, tagged, etc.” Jared Rendell
There will always be two sides to everything. In your journey of creating a media presence on Facebook, keep in mind some of these things mentioned above. Each church has their own specific needs, so be mindful of where your church is and what direction the Lord is leading you in.