David Hansen (@Rev_David) will be moderating the #ChSocM chat on Tuesday, June 26 at 9:00 PM ET. Here, he provides a context for what will be (yet another) a lively conversation. Read on, mark your calendar, and let's chat!
Almost Happy Birthday! In just two weeks, the Tuesday night #ChSocM chat will celebrate its first birthday.
This means we’ve been talking about what it means to use social media in ministry for a year. And what a year it has been! 52 weekly conversations. Blog posts about boundaries and public online presence. Sharing joys and sorrows. Our lead moderator went off and got hitched and my own nuptials are just around the corner. There have even been a couple of books published (or soon to be) about church social media.
We have been so focused on key issues about church social media, it can be easy to assume everyone else is engaging in the same conversations.
Until it becomes obvious that they are not.
Last week, a post appearing on a denominational blog caused quite a dust-up. That post, which has been removed, raised questions about what clergy should or should not share about themselves on social media, how to deal with sensitive issues online, and how leaders in positions of authority interact with others on social media.
There were good reasons why that post was removed, and I do not wish to resurrect specific issues raised within it. However, in the online, public conversation that followed, important questions arose:
- How do we begin having real expectations for the public behavior of clergy? This would be expectations that hold us accountable while acknowledging we’re not a monastic caste.
- How can clergy learn to speak about our lives publicly with authenticity and transparency, without sharing inappropriately?
- How can the #ChSocM community engage denominational leadership in education about social media, and invite them into conversation about using social media for ministry?