Friday, May 14, 2010

Having a Social Media Policy for your Church or Ministry.

is a sample of one.

And the article:
10 Must Haves for your Social media policy

With Web 2.0 and getting into Web 3.0 and beyond ... it is good to think about your church having a social media and internet policy.

Here are some guidelines I would suggest for any church, ministry etc.

I. Use common sense. There are just some things that are not meant to be posted online and shared with the world. (I've learned this recently). Write and post things as if your Mom is reading it. (Actually my Mom does ..she recently joined facebook , and follows that, my blog and several websites.)

II. Be a Christian at all times. Love your neighbour. Remember the Golden Rule. On forums, social media sites, email, etc. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Love people and love God.

III. Have a Disclaimer. Sure you are a leader and it reflects that, but also make sure that people know that not everyone believes or has the same opinions as you do.

IV. Have Fun. Some suggest don't have your parishioners as your followers etc. I disagree. Have fun with it, build those relationships. That is what Ministry is about.

V. Be authentic. Be as real as you are online as you are off.

VI. Be safe. Be aware of your security settings, privacy issues, confidentiality. Don't share everything. I'm careful with those underage. I personally don't bank online or use credit cards online due to being hacked and try to be safe. I have firewalls, make sure my protection software is updated etc. In other words surf online as if Jesus is typing for you.

VII. Get permission. Sometimes it is nice to post pictures of children in your ministry - get the parents input. Have them in groups. Don't have individual pictures with the child's full name on it. Protect their identity and be safe as well. See what schools do. We had to sign a waiver for release of the pictures for our local school.

VIII. Know copyright. Try your best to obey copyright laws. There are lots of good venues, and Christian bands that allow their music to be used .. and pictures but also make sure you buy it - get permission etc.

IX. Google is your friend. Google your name, ministry to find out what others are saying about you. Google resources, and other policies and see what fits best in your context.

X. Think before you post. There are some posts and things I wish I never posted for the whole world to see, and other times I'm glad I posted. Edit, delete, and copy and paste are your friends. Pray about what you put online. Afterall it is posted for all to see ... there isn't alot you can do to change it - even if you delete it or deactivate your account. Sometimes the damage has already been done.  Here are some good guidelines

People have been fired, not hired, and damage to their own lives over things they posted online. Sport figures fined for twitter status. Teachers for inappropriate photos etc.

Makes sure your internet activity honors God. That in all you do whether in work or deed honors Christ.
Be productive. Be safe. think. Pray. People in the congregation I serve over 3/4s are online. Over 60% are on facebook. Set limits.  Some people think I'm online all the time but due to RSS feeds, and timing my blog entries helps. Be wise and discerning in all you do.

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