Technology: The Evil Social Media

Doug Ranck / Free Methodist Church / Santa Barabara, Californa / dranck@fmcsb.org

041416_Evil-Social-Media(This is the next in our series of Feature Articles from Youth Leaders Only 102 – which has the theme of TECHNOLOGY: Doing Ministry in the 21st Century.)

“Nobody talks face to face anymore. It’s easier just to comment on Facebook.”

“I don’t do social media. It takes too much time and it is relationally worthless.”

“Give me the good ol’ phone any day. And, by the way, I have a flip phone.”

Full disclosure: I am a 57-year-old youth pastor who started in ministry before there were answering machines. I actually hand wrote letters to kids or their parents. I called their house and hoped somebody would eventually answer. I had a hitching post outside my office — okay, not really.

Now some of my peers are those who sip coffee and complain about the destructive forces of social media and smart phones. They choose to see all that is wrong in the Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. world. If one wants to find the downside of these mediums, it can readily be found and one would expect my generation to be looking for it.

Interestingly enough I am connecting with younger youth leaders who also subscribe to the same philosophy. They call out the evils of the social media world and are proud of their “permanent fast” from it.

Much of what is wrong with the social media neighborhood I get. There are some broken pieces and I acknowledge them. Youth and adults get obsessed with their smartphones buzzing with notifications about media updates. Trying to lock eyes with an entire group for an engaging discussion is almost always impacted by someone checking a device.

However, I declare my love for social media and all the advantages it gives me in pastoring – yes I said, “pastoring” – youth and their families. Taking one step further, it seems those who completely opt out of these formats are actually isolating themselves and cutting off additional connections they could be having.

Here are a few advantages I have identified and a “game plan” toward developing your social media ministry.

FOUR Advantages

  • Entering the social media world strategically gives me…
  • We gain a few more access points of…
  • Youth and parents can easily….
  • Youth and parents can know more about…

YOUR Game Plan

  • Choose a few strategic media…
  • Affirm birthdays, accomplishments…
  • Don’t be…
  • Post above…
  • Balance media and…

To read all of Doug’s great ideas, use this link.

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