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My personal ethics for Facebook in 2016

Here’s the deal…I freaking love Facebook! I love it! 

It’s true, I do. I think its awesome and I think it’s one of the best things ever!

But…and this is a BIG BUT…

If I let it, it can take over so much of my time. If I let it, I can let its negativity ruin my day. If I let it, I can let the jealousy of watching everyone’s best moments get the best of me. If I let it, it can be really destructive.

But…there’s the deal…

IF I LET IT

I don’t have to let it. I can search and recognize and scroll and reap the benefits of how freaking awesome it can be!

Now, I’ve almost given up on it in the past and I wrote about it here. But, I decided not too.

Why? Because ultimately I believe Facebook is a great tool for the Kingdom of God. 

Even though I think its great, I still have decided to set up some Facebook parameters and safety guards. These help protect me and my heart  from all the crap that can happen on Facebook and also protect others from the moments that I decide to say something hurtful or hateful or ridicoulous on Facebook.

My personal ethics for facebook

1. I will NEVER like or engage with anything that is even remotely negative.

If someone is bashing another person, an organization or whatever it is, I just don’t have time for that.

And, if I start reading and get the hint that the author is heading down a crazy negative trail, I immediately unfollow, not unfriend. It actually takes a lot for me to unfriend someone. It happens, but it takes awhile.

Here’s the deal. There is enough negativity in my life, so why would I want to add anymore? Now, I’m not talking about people who push back on a philosophy or a worldview or anything like that. I’m great with people who disagree with each other’s stances on issues and I routinely read authors who fall in different camps than mine. But, I’m done with the negativity. I’m not with the negative person, just their negativity on the Facebook airwaves.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~Phil 4:8

2. I will do everything in my power to represent Jesus as His ambassador.

Now, I’m not perfect. Actually, far from it! I don’t have all the answers and I screw up a lot. But, I will do everything possible to not make Jesus or His Church look bad on Facebook. I want to represent Him well and so that means I have some questions that I ask myself before I post something:

  • Will this post honor Jesus?
  • Will this post honor someone else?
  • Could what I say be easily taken out of context?
  • Is this post something I would be embarrassed of if I read it later?

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. ~2 Corinthians 5:20

3. I will not send or post subliminal messages.

Have you ever done this? I have! You’re trying to get a point across to someone and you hope they see your Facebook page and the post you put up just for them. Well, my days of doing that are over!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. ~Matthew 5:37

4. I will use Facebook to encourage others. 

Whether it’s through helpful articles, inspiring pictures, helpful thoughts or just good old fashion humor, I will use this incredible tool to bring encouragement, not hate! I try to send dozens of encouraging messages a week through private messages, posts on walls and my commenting and liking posts.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thes 5:11

5. I will use Facebook to invite people to be a part of the Kingdom. 

I am unashamed to use Facebook to talk about Jesus, the CHURCH or my Church. I know some people disagree with that, but I think it’s a tremendous tool for the kingdom. Now, I will never become soap box preacher and finger pointing preacher on Facebook. That stuff is ridiculous and I think makes little 7 pound, 5 ounce baby Jesus cry! See, I probably just offended someone with that last sentence, but it was funny! Haha.

I will post scriptures, encouraging quotes, helpful articles and challenging Christ filled messages that hopefully will bring hope and joy and peace and truth to someone’s life.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  ~ Romans 1:16

6. I will NEVER bash another human being, organization or the CHURCH! 

This happens all the time on Facebook and it makes me nauseous. This just hurts the Kingdom of God and makes Satan smile! Even when someone bashes me, I’m just not going to lash back out on Facebook. Or my food took too long at a restaurant, or the cashier was rude at Target. Nope, just not going to BASH!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Eph 4:29

A few last thoughts…

Obviously, I’m not the Facebook captain of the world and these are just my thoughts and ethics. But, for me, I have found these helpful as I passionately do everything I can to follow Jesus with my whole heart and life.

And lastly, its easy for your identity to get boosted by Facebook. Likes, comments and friends. But, don’t let it. Our identity is rooted in the fact that we were created in the image of God and we’re His children!

Imagine if Jesus followers used Facebook to make a giant impact on the world for Jesus? Wow!

A little bit of Saturday randomness and ramblings…

A little bit of randomness and ramblings…

1. It kind of makes me sad when people unlike Thrive Church’s Facebook page. Probably shouldn’t. Don’t know why it does. But, really, who does that?

2. Somebody asked me today why I take a prayer walk around Celebration Cinema every week. Because I’ve read Circle Maker a dozen times. If you haven’t read it, buy this book and get ready!circle

3. Someone just messaged me and told me that for the first time in their life they are excited to be a part of a Church.

Yeah, that’s amazing and so humbling!

4. One of my favorite things to do is go to the movies. I just realized that I haven’t been to a movie in months and months. That’s a first.

5. I really can’t wait for tomorrow! I love Sunday!

Ok, there is your Saturday’s dose of randomness and ramblings!

 

Facebook 101…The real reason to use facebook

There are so many reasons to use Facebook. Too many to list in this blog post. But, what I hope to convey is what I think, the only real reason to use it.

And yes, I understand I’m going out on a limb a bit.

I’ve been working on a series of posts about Facebook for a few months now and I’m ready to start putting them up. So, here’s my first go at it.

Here’s what I know about Facebook…

It can either greatly improve your life or it can bring a world of negativity into your life.

The great thing is…you get to choose.

It can either encourage you or suck your time away from you.

The great thing is…you get to choose. 

It can either be used a tool to communicate with friends and family or it can be used to spread negativity.

Again, the great thing is…you get to choose. 

This is how powerful this simple online website is! It has the potential to bring life to people. To get them connected. To get them engaged. But, way too often it does the exact opposite. People get more frustrated, they become more envious and jealous and the negativity just fills their mind.

In fact, I would be rich if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say ‘I’m so tired of the drama on Facebook’.

Ok, so what’s the real reason to use Facebook? Instead of listing a ridiculously long list, I’m just gonna cut to the chase and post what I believe is the only real reason to use Facebook. Here we go:

To bring life to others. 

Yup, I really believe it’s not about you. Its not about me. It’s about bringing hope. Bringing joy. Bringing new ideas. Bringing new connections. Bringing new relationships and encouragement for old ones.

It’s all about…bringing life to others.

Enough with the hate. Enough with the negativity. Enough with the late night woe is me posts. Enough with hiding behind it. Enough with the name calling. Enough with the ‘my life is better than yours’. Enough.

Enough. Please. 

Please just use it to bring life.

Don’t know how? Well, that’s tomorrow’s post.

One Reason I’ve almost given up Facebook

Here’s the deal, I really like Facebook.

I do.

I actually like it a lot.

I see so many great things about Facebook and I use it quite a bit. It is a POWERFUL tool for ministry and prayer.

But…

And, it’s a BIG BUT…

There is really one reason that stands out that I have almost given up on Facebook. Really, I’ve come close. I’ve actually thought about deleting the whole thing because of this reason.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot I don’t appreciate about it…but, its not enough to almost wipe it out of my life.

The One Reason

So, here is the ONE and only reason I’ve almost given up on it…

All the negativity! 

Seriously, some days I just can’t stand it! Most days I just post stuff because I’m afraid of coming across a water fall of negativity.

Now, I don’t know all of my Facebook friends personally. But, I would say about 60% of them are Jesus followers and still…waves and waves of negativity! 

Complaining about the snow, the cold, the ice, the President, their church, school, neighbors, dinner, motherhood, their kids, their spouse and don’t get me started on sports.

I love sports…but I can’t deal with all the negativity people have towards coaches. Hoy CRAP!

So, how about this. Instead of being stinking negative, we infuse some positivity.

What do you think?

Just start with a little.

Is your life that tough?

Does life suck that bad?

I mean, come on! If you know Jesus and He has paved a path for you to spend in eternity in heaven, stop the whining and moaning!

Be positive.

Represent Jesus.

Encourage.

Just a thought.

 

I was reported to facebook and I lived to tell about it

I have been on facebook since 2007. For the first couple of years, I sort of you used it. These last couple of years, I probably use it too much.

I’m a huge believer in facebook. I’m a huge believer in social media.

I have heard all the negative and all the positive.

I know it’s not perfect, but I think it’s a great tool. Especially to build relationships and let people know what’s going on their worlds.

I’m shocked that more leaders don’t use it. (I’m posting more about that later this week)

All that being said, for the first time in my life I was reported to facebook. I sent a friend request to a youth pastor that I wanted to connect with but didn’t know him and he reported me! That has never happened before.

I got a nice message from facebook saying if it happened again, my facebook privilege to friend request would be suspended.

Wow! Harsh!

This little ordeal has made me think about facebook and I came up with my own rules for facebook.

Here are my personal rules to facebook:

1. I never unlike or de-friend someone. It just won’t happen. I’ve had friends disown me and they’ve de-friended me, but I’m not in the business of cleaning up my friend list. What’s the point? Yeah, yeah, I know what some people say…”I don’t need to know what Tom had for dinner”. I get that, but you know what, I’m in the relationship business and facebook gives me a great insight into many lives and how I can be praying for them.

2. I accept every friend request. I just do. I know that’s not for everyone. But, again, I’m in the people business. As a follower of Christ, I’ve been the charge to love everyone and a great way to get a glimpse at their timeline.

3. I reply to every message. I may not do it in a timely manner, but I eventually reply. There have been times, I know, I have messed up and not replied, but I try.

4. I try to be as authentic and transparent as I can. One of my life goals is to live this way regardless of facebook, so I want to be the same person in person that I am on facebook. Too many people try to be someone their not on facebook. They act like they have it all together and they use an air of superiority as they write. If I write that way, call me on it.

5. I don’t friend request complete strangers. Unless…we have something or someone in common.

6. I don’t friend request anyone under the age of 18. I speak to a lot of middle and high school students. I am only friends with them because they requested me.

7. I attempt for my posts to be strategic. I usually try to think strategically about my posts. I try to post about…

  • My family. Updates, pictures, funny stories, things like that. I know some people and some leaders don’t want people to have an inside look at their families and I guess I can respect that. But, goodness, what an incredible tool for people to be praying for your family. I get so many messages from people saying they’re praying for my kids after I post pictures of them. Now, maybe they’re praying for my kids because they have me as a dad! hah!
  • My Passions. I write about a lot about leadership, relationships, students, church growth, small groups, and speaking.

8. I try to be over the top encouraging! I attempt to write happy birthday on everyone’s wall that I’m a facebook friend with. If somebody asks me to like something, I will. I try to leave as many encouraging comments that I can.

9. I try to share information. I am a information-aholic! I love to share articles and books and music and resources.

10. I try to represent Jesus as best as I can. I have many facebook friends who are believers and I have many who are not. My hope is that I represent Him well.

Those are my personal rules to Facebook.

What am I missing? What are yours?