Stay Safe and Savvy on Facebook
Facebook is a great place for a children's minister to connect
personally with volunteers, parents, and other church members. It
gives people a window into your personal life. However, never
forget that you're still a public figure and must tread the line
carefully between being open and over-sharing. These 10 guidelines
will help you become a savvy-but safe-public figure on
- Understand Facebook's privacy settings. The default settings
aren't always set to the most secure options; spend time reviewing
yours so you know who's able to access your information and
- Consider everything as public information. People can share
your status or even capture a screenshot, so every post you make
must be suitable for anyone to read-including kids you're
- Be careful about sharing posts that appear on your feed. When
you share pictures or e-cards, you also share the name of the group
or person who originated them, which may contain vulgar and
- Watch your photos for spam or malicious tagging. Change your
Facebook settings to notify you any time you're tagged in an image,
and investigate every tag to ensure it meets your public
- Be careful about services such as Spotify and Pandora. Many
times these apps will post your listening activity-you may enjoy
80's heavy metal, but you might not want everyone to know when
you're rocking to Van Halen.
- Stay away from politics. Yes, you have freedom of speech. No,
that doesn't mean you should exercise it when you have a strong
- Never discuss "backstage" issues. Don't touch on or allude to
internal church discussions on Facebook or any social platform
unless directed by senior leadership.
- Don't bash other ministries, denominations, or churches--local
or national. You may disagree with a church's philosophy of
ministry, but refrain from public ridicule-it's inappropriate and
others may perceive that you speak for your pastor.
- If you run a personal Facebook page and your ministry's
Facebook page, always double-check which account you're in when
posting. All your posts must be above board, but double-checking
yourself will prevent an "oops" post. Since Facebook gives you the
option to act as your page, watch your likes, comments, and posts
looking as if they're coming from your church.
- Conform to your church's social media policy-always. If your
church doesn't have one, consider spearheading the initiative.