I appreciate the value of social media and networking. They can be a useful tool for communication and a helpful means of keeping up with old friends in a way that doesn’t demand a lot of time or money. We post family pictures and communicate with old friends through Michelle’s facebook account, and for the most part find it a useful tool.
At the same time, it can suck an amazing amount of time from the lives of people called to be good stewards of their time. On the Grace to You blog, Pastor John MacArthur has posted a helpful article highlighting some striking statistics, and giving some important warnings about the uses of social media and networking. I encourage you to read the whole article by clicking the link above. Here is his summary and conclusion.
Social networking can be a useful tool when it is used in moderation and for the right things. At the same time, however, pitfalls and temptations do exist; and believers need to arm themselves accordingly. Social media are obviously not going away any time soon. But that doesn’t mean we can be undiscerning in how we approach them.
For me, as a pastor, this issue is particularly important from a shepherding perspective. Christian leaders are called to equip their people to think through every area of life with biblical wisdom. And this is no exception.
Moreover, believers (and especially pastors) need to be careful what they communicate to the world about their lives. Once something is posted online it can be seen by anyone else. Once it’s cached, there is a permanent record of it. That means every status update and every tweet is part of the believer’s public testimony as a Christian.
As Paul told the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (2:20). Like Paul and every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.
For the glory of Christ! I trust you’ll find this a helpful reminder and encouragement. I would have linked to the article on my facebook account, but I don’t have one.