10 Tips for Christians in Social Media

There are thousands of Christians participating in Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and more.  Whether we are posting to our own blog, tweeting or commenting on what someone else has written, it is important to remember a few guidelines about Christian conduct online.

1)      Remember the Golden Rule. Stick to the high road. Snarkiness abounds on the Internet, especially in chat forums and comment sections.

Lewis Carroll's Snark caused people to disappear, much like mean spirited jabs can diminish a person. Set yourself apart by keeping a positive tone, focusing your arguments on ideas rather than personal attacks.

2)      Let your faith emerge naturally in your posts, and avoid proselytizing.

3)      Don’t be holier than thou! Be thoughtful and opinionated, but avoid taking on a judgmental tone in your posts.

4)      Cut others some slack. Give people with whom you disagree the benefit of the doubt.

5)      Know your stuff. That is, know the ground on which you stand. Understand the values and theology that inform your views and consider how to express them.

6)      Be real. Being authentic is more important than appearing to be a flawless, model Christian. Most people cannot relate to perfection, and it’s easier to empathize with someone who is genuine about who they are.

7)      Engage a broad audience. Don’t limit yourself to interacting only with other Christians. Choose topics that spark the interest of “regular” people.

8)       Get out of the pulpit. Avoid churchy jargon and explain the concepts that you use. Don’t take for granted that people know anything about Christianity or are familiar with Jesus.  And be sure to keep it short.  Long, verbose diatribes do not entice reading.

9)      Don’t bring me down! Taking a cue from Paul’s first letter to Corinthians, post content that contributes to building up (faith) rather than tearing down.

10)   Use multimedia – video, audio, photo slideshows – to engage your audience more powerfully in the message or story you are trying to tell. Blogging about a soup kitchen or health care ministry? Include a 1- to 2-minute video clip with testimony from people benefiting from the program or people working with

 

8 Responses to “10 Tips for Christians in Social Media”

  1. Holly Boardman December 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Thanks for this. I have been tweeting for some time now, mostly with educators and Methodist folks. I finally got brave and started a blog today, but I have been wondering whether to narrow my blog to something in education, or something churchy. Your timely advice convinces me that I can try to combine the two.

  2. FAROUK SALISU May 11, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I will try to abide by this rules

  3. Michael May 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Hey Larry, thanks for posting this article. I’ll have to agree with #8 the most. The easiest way to turn people off, especially the non churched is to be “churchy” or judgemental.

  4. Bryce Conlan July 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    This is great Larry! I love the point about letting your faith emerge naturally – I actually wrote a book about social media and the Christian faith Nd that wasoneof the main points. I’dbon honored if you would check it out. It’s called Cloud Culture and it’s available on amazon. thanks and blessings,

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