4 Social Media Blunders

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Gloria Gadsden, from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was
temporarily suspended that same year for posting, “Does anyone know
where I can find a discreet hit man? Yes, it’s been that kind of
day” and “had a good day today, DIDN’T want to kill even one
student :-). Now Friday was a different story.” Gadsden thought the
posts would only be viewable by her family and friends-but one of
her students saw the post and reported it.

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Do an online search for “social media blunders,” and you’ll find a
slew of examples of major slip-ups-often resulting in legal
calamity. People everywhere-including the courts-are still figuring
out the rules of the social media game. Unfortunately, not
understanding the basic rules can get a person into seriously hot
water.

Social media isn’t a bad thing; it’s a vital tool for the church
to use as it builds and cares for its 21st-century community.
Through Facebook and Twitter I now know more about the families in
my church than I was ever able to know in the past. I know when
kids are sick, when a pet died, and when the team won the baseball
game. This information connects us-I get to share in these
experiences. I’ve stepped outside the church building and into
their homes. That’s the power of social media.

Your church or ministry likely has a Facebook page or Twitter
profile. Many churches have social media pages for individual
ministries. In most cases, the responsibility for the children’s
ministry’s social media is in the hands of the children’s
minister.

There are pitfalls in social media that can have legal
ramifications for your children’s ministry. Other risks may include
damaging your church or ministry’s name in your community. We can’t
hide from the dangers related to social media, but we can be wise
about how we use it. Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:16 are a good
motto: “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as
shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”

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It’s critical that you and your team understand the following four
major social media pitfalls that can trap your ministry. Study
these carefully with your team-along with the tips for creating
effective practices to increase your effectiveness while
safeguarding your ministry.

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