Facebook can be very helpful to pastors. It helps us know how to pray. It is a great avenue for communicating your message, making announcements, establishing connections, helping people laugh and a host of other things.
It’s also a headache.
Here are seven ways that Facebook makes pastoring a little more difficult:
Your beloved Aunt Gertrude just died. You post of your sadness on Facebook. And only Facebook.
Your pastor doesn’t call. He doesn’t send flowers. He doesn’t respond to your status update. Nothing. What a jerk!!!
Or, is it possible that he simply isn’t on Facebook all the time? Maybe he didn’t see it. Social media has upped the expectations for pastoral response.
2. Faux problems.
People vent about really silly things on Facebook. And they often do it in language that requires a Rosetta Stone program to decipher. All you really know is that person X is fed up with people Y and that they need to mind their own business.
So, when a pastor is scrolling through his news feed and sees these little spats, what is he to do? Does he call and make sure everything is OK—only to find out that the status was really about the pain of getting onions on your McRib when you clearly said “no onions”?
3. Public error.
Not every church member is theologically astute. Some are baby Christians. As such, they are a little quicker to spread theological error—if not outright heresy.
So, what should a pastor do? If he confronts all of these cute little pictures with terrible theology, then he’s going to look like a self-righteous jerk. If he lets them go, is he protecting the flock?