Should Pastors be on #Facebook, #Twitter and other #Social Media?

Should Pastors be on #Facebook, #Twitter and other #Social Media? What if they say something wrong? Digital Technology has had a profound affect on the identity of the Christian Minister. Here is the transcript from the video above.

Well I think technology with the ministries that I’ve worked with—again they’re very much personality driven—what people want access to in addition to the church is the pastor. What technology has done is kind of torn that veil from us. If you look at a typical weekend service you’re not able to get to the pastor. You’re in a church with thousands of other members and once the pastor is done preaching then he pretty much disappears. You might have an opportunity to shake hands with him on the way out, very rarely, but for the most part that’s it. You saw him preaching the sermon and then he’s off.

What technology does, especially in a case of a large minister like Bishop Jakes, that’s him actually using his Twitter. Most people don’t believe that, but that’s him actually on Twitter responding to people, good and bad. And when people ask him questions, him actually putting out the daily devotionals and him talking to people. That’s what he wanted; he wanted access to the people as well as them having access to him.

That’s what I think the digital technology does, it gives people access to the pastor and lets them, for good and bad, have a glimpse of what he is like outside of the pulpit because that’s all people are used to seeing. Or the especially high quality produced segments where the pastor’s talking about some type of campaign or some type of next message that’s coming up or something like that. No, you actually see this pastor on a arbitrary 12 p.m. Saturday talking about, “I’m out with my family running around at the park,” or something like that. You see how the pastor is a real person and may not always, usually is not 24-7 spiritual churchy mode all the time, and you get access to that.

That is a good thing but it also can be a bad thing because you actually see the pastor in a real light as far as the beliefs you 100% agree with and the beliefs that the pastor may have that you don’t agree with. You may see that via social media or any type of digital media. That’s the stuff that people sometimes can deal with or sometimes cannot deal with. And they look outside of the local area for the most part for the pastor to have a national reach or international reach; they associate that pastor with the church. They may not even know the name of the church but they know the name of the outreach ministry. For example, people know T.D. Jakes Ministries. They may not know The Potter’s House Church. People know Ever Increasing Faith Ministries but they don’t know it comes from Crenshaw Christian Center.

So they associate that pastor with the church and everything he says is an extension of that church. So, when he says something, they feel like the pastor offended them, the church offended them and they don’t want to be affiliated with that anymore. That’s the bad part about it; it amplifies the pastor’s reach.