Being Facebook Friends with the Minister: Minister’s Musings
I have been talking with colleagues about best practices related to a minister’s presence on
Facebook. Based on those conversations, I have been persuaded to change my approach to
friending. Until now, I have invited you all to friend me on Facebook. If you do, then I accept the request. This way of doing it recognizes that not everyone wants to be Facebook friends with the minister, and puts the ball squarely in your court.
However, there is an unexpected drawback to this practice: new folks don’t necessarily know that they can friend me. Plus, my Facebook profile is not easy to find since it has “Rev” at the start of my name: Revkaren Johnston. So it can make it feel like there is an in-group and an out-group. I really want to avoid that.
I use Facebook as a tool of my ministry. For instance, during the big storms we had this past month, I used it to check in on folks to see how they were doing. It’s by no means a perfect tool—and not everyone is on Facebook, and Facebook once again revealed some of its more problematic flaws around privacy with the recent controversy around Cambridge Analytical—but it is a useful one for connecting people and updating people. I think it can help connect us as a congregation.
So, I’m going to try it a different way: if I come across your profile on Facebook, I am going to send you a friend request. PLEASE IGNORE IT IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO BE YOUR
FACEBOOK FRIEND. MY FEELINGS WILL NOT BE HURT. 🙂
My hope is that this is beneficial for all – especially new folks who are checking us out for the first time and possibly folks who are far away. I think it will help those on Facebook feel more connected with each other, not just with me. Plus, if I am Facebook friends with you, I can invite you to events that are happening at TUS. (I promise to invite you only to TUS events!)
I’m blessed to be on this journey with you,