By Nikole Hahn
A great need exists for volunteers to serve on social media with our local churches and mission organizations. Many non-profits and churches can’t afford a full-time social media strategist. Churches should consider volunteers willing to commit to serving online and leadership to support that work because social media presence has become culturally-central to that organization’s brand or reputation. However, as with other influential roles, who you choose to invite into your digital team makes a difference.
Recently, circumstances caused me to think about the make-up of a social media volunteer. James 3:1 NIV says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” A stern warning, not just for teachers, but for anyone wanting to influence others! Social media people may not think of themselves as teachers, but they influence the people God has placed in their friends or followers list.
In John Bunyan’s allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, the character named Christian learns this:
“I admit I cannot commend my life. I am well aware of my many failings. I also know that a man, by the way he lives his life, can quickly invalidate whatever arguments or advice he presents to others for their own good.”
Here are some ways to choose your social media volunteers based on the Bible:
- Living By Example In-Person and Online (1 Peter 5:3; 1 Timothy 3:1-7): Follow or friend the volunteer that you will be asking to join your team. What kind of person are they online? Are they different in-person?
- Are They Using Social Media To Serve Others, Or To Promote Themselves? (John 13; Matthew 20:26; Proverbs 27:23-24; Philippians 2:3) Someone once said that some people think of social media as their own personal paparazzi. Social media, like other venues, should be about serving others. Can you see that on the candidate’s social media?
- Are They Divisive? In Acts 15, a few rogue believers began preaching a works-based salvation while putting down the work of Paul and Barnabas. They believed the law of Moses had to be kept, or one couldn’t be saved. They campaigned this among other believers. Does this candidate attack others online? Are they divisive? Do they enjoy controversy too much?
- What Do They Really Believe? Does It Align With The Church or Org’s Beliefs? An in-person or Zoom interview can help determine this but you should confirm it by perusing their social media.
Serving online, like in-person ministry, has unique challenges and can be very difficult at times. May we all remember Galatians 6:9 to not grow weary in doing good but to persevere. God’s work is usually slow work, and as fast as digital communications can seem, fruitful work is still quite slow. Being Jesus’ hands and feet in the digital world means being okay with not getting credit, not always seeing fruit, and being in the background.
When my husband took the position of deacon at our sending church, he didn’t feel qualified. But other leaders had identified the leadership in him and the trajectory of spiritual maturity that he had shown to that point. I certainly saw it! But he remained sober-minded about who he was and what the role meant. That is the humble attitude required for servant leadership. It’s a beautiful attitude because none of us are qualified. We, like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, must be aware of our failings even as we grow into spiritual maturity. And those are the kind of people we’re looking for to lead ministry over social media. In fact, a famous author once said that social media is a documentation of our spiritual journey. If we look at it to fault-find, we may never get a qualified volunteer. But if we look at a person’s social media seeking evidence of growth in their spiritual journey, God will help us find the right people to serve!
On your social media or in the comments, answer this question.
- What other verses in the Bible talk about leadership?
- How might those apply to social media?
- Learn more about Nikole Hahn by clicking here.
- Forming a Digital Team
- What is Hybrid Church?
- Finding Faith By Fighting Dragons
- Reaching The Deaf Through Digital Tools: A Virtual Roundtable
Header Image by Jess Foami from Pixabay