Episode #17 (June 20, 2011): What Would You Do? Facebook and Ministry Presence

Today our hosts discuss ways to ensure proper boundaries in our ministry with respect to online social networks such as Facebook. What would you do?

Here are some links to things we talked about:

  • CBC story about recommendations for Facebook and Twitter from the Ontario College of Teachers.
  • Search Institute & the 40 Developmental Assets
  • Facebook page for the Sirius/XM Catholic Channel show, The Catholics Next Door
  •  
    Song of the Week: Crazy by Gnarls Barkey

    Question of the Week: How do you maintain proper ministry boundaries when using social networking sites?

    We welcome your input! Please comment below or send us feedback at feedback@hotcupofministry.ca. We can also be found on Facebook facebook.com/hotcupofministry.

    About jane

    Loves God. Loves wine. Loves reading a good book.

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    One Response to Episode #17 (June 20, 2011): What Would You Do? Facebook and Ministry Presence

    1. Fr. Andrew says:

      Perhaps most of what I am about to write you have already said in one way or another, but this is my synthesis and experience.

      1. Be authentic! Andy mentioned the need to be transparent, which is very important. If you preach something live it! If I am going to preach sexual purity and clean language and make sexist jokes and swear on Facebook, I am being a hypocrite. This also goes for our personal lives. If someone saw me go to the bar and get drunk every Friday night, it could be just as harmful as something said online. People notice and this should help us to be accountable for our actions.
      2. Don’t put anything on Facebook that you don’t want everyone to see. I tend to replay to wall posts that ask for information that I do not wish to be public for my own privacy by using a personal message.
      3. As priests and ministers in the Church, we have to realize that although we do possess places of authority in the Church we are also part of a wider communion. This is where I find the situation to be a little less clear cut. As a priest, I am not a CEO or a teacher with strict delineations of authority and professionalism, and yet, a certain dignity and professionalism must accompany ministry. I am also their fellow Christian and to be one with them in communion and not keep them at arms length because they are the ones whom I serve for the building up of that communion.
      4. We are called to ministry in order to serve the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church. We must always remember that we are not doctors helping heal someone from the outside but that we too are part of the same Church that we are trying to build up.
      5. People desire personal relationships, and it is these relationships that are the most successful method of preaching the Gospel. So, how can we develop these relationships without making them feel that they are coming to a psychologist but that we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ? That being said, I always try to remember that I am first their priest and secondly their friend. In this way, I will not cross over into an area that could be dangerous to either one of us or the wider community.

      I guess for me it boils down to integrity. Be available but be prudent.

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