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3 Social Media Rules for Youth Workers

We love that our volunteers are on Twitter and Facebook! It seems like everyone is enjoying the benefits of social networking these days – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise your volunteers are interested or already involved for sure. Most use the technology to their groups’ benefit, though from time to time we’ve had to have conversations and consider removing volunteers for what they put online. At small group training this I ask our small group leaders to apply these three simple guidelines when updating social networks:

Remember what you post is public
Here’s the big deal – a joke that is funny between a few friends might not be funny at all out of context or in the harsh light of public view. Remember that everything you post – picture, status update or essay, becomes completely public the second you push submit. You can never really take it back once its out there, so be wise and use discernment with everything you post.

Remember what you post influences students
Your students are checking out your profile. They look up to you. They are eager to make a connection with you, and since they’re always on Facebook they’ll almost always see what you post. But it is so much more than just seeing – what you say, what you value, what you show yourself doing – it all influences students – the good, bad and ugly. When you give an inch, they may take it a mile. Of course, it works the other way as well, when you use social media positively, it can have a significant encouraging influence on them, too.

Remember what you post is a reflection on our student ministry/church
Your character and faith is reflected in every post that you make so if you are doubtful about something, here’s a simple rule to follow: DON’T POST IT. Just like behavior on a youth ministry trip is a reflection on the church and student ministry, know that what you post adds or detracts to the reputation of the church and ministry … and ultimately Christ.

What guidelines do you share with your leaders about Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media?  

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jgriffin@churchleaders.com'
Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!