Facebook, love it or hate it lots of teens still use it (although that maybe changing). I’ve been using and abusing Facebook since about 2007 so I think I am well placed to give some tips on how to get the best out of it for your church’s youth group. Here’s five simple tips.
- Be real. Those of us who have been around teens long enough all agree on one thing, teens spot a fake quicker than the rest of the church! Don’t set something up on Facebook and try to be too ‘cool’. Be yourself and not who you think your kids would like you to be. Bereal.
- Be active. Personally, if I see someone who only uses Facebook to promote something, even a church I click ‘un-follow’ as quickly as possible. If you are going to use Facebook, use Facebook.
- Don’t be too active. Not even your partner cares how much you lifted at the gym, what you had for breakfast, where you ate for lunch or what new time-waster game you are playing. Less is often more, and on Facebook its good to work out what to say and what not to say.
- Be friendly. Its really easy to get into pointless fights online, especially on Facebook. If you disagree with someone, pick up the phone and talk to them about it. If you don’t have their phone number, and they aren’t actively moving to destroy your ministry – just let it go and move on. Trust me its better for you this way.
- Be careful. Facebook feels as if its virtual reality, but it isn’t because the people are real. So if you are in a pastoral role over teenagers, if you would rather not know what they do at the weekend before Church (I mean on Saturday night) just don’t look! Also a wise friend once told me that ‘once you click send on Facebook presume its public knowledge’.
What have I missed, or what works for you? Let’s make Facebook a really effective ministry tool rather than a dangerous time waster.