Churches want their congregation to use social media to promote their sermons and events. Some even post special hashtags to encourage you to share without hesitation. While "live tweeting" during a message can be beneficial, some think we need to take a break. This article will outline situations where a break from social media may be quite beneficial.
Many people, including myself, use social media on a mobile device. During a church service I like to share sermon quotes and take pictures of our church band. I have also sat at a restaurant with my family to notice we are staring at our phones. Perhaps I am missing something. Is there a moment that passed me by because I was focused on my device? Perhaps we can ask that we only take in those moments, document them on our devices, and save the act of sending for a later time.
Worship is a time to glorify God. There may be moments you want to capture because they were inspiring. So go ahead & capture them. Photos and video are great ways to show the world how you worship. But refrain from posting straight away. Take the few seconds to capture the moment and get right back in. Enjoy your corporate worship and let it work on you.
Another time you are tempted to post to social media is during the sermon. Just like during worship, record the moment and get right back into it. Document those tweetable phrases from the sermon. But save them for later. Do this to allow that idea to work in your heart first. Plus there may be multiple points you want to record. Instead of sending a barrage of updates, save them to post throughout the week
There are many cartoons that depict groups of people staring at their phones and not each other. Be present in your life and with those around you. There are times and places for using technology. Take a few group photos to document the memory, but remain present.
When do you break the rules and post to social media? I submit it is when time truly matters. Is an event occurring tonight and you forgot to post something about it? Occasions with a ticking clock warrant your attention. Yet there are ways to avoid these crises. Use social media tools to schedule posts in advance. Platforms like HootSuite allow you to plan ahead for perfectly timed posts.
Remember that events are timely, but truth is timeless. Encourage your congregation to document and record their thoughts. Avoid the influx of Sunday sermon quotes. Save them and let the words work on your heart. Your social media followers do not need to hear from you only on Sunday. Share the Biblical lessons you learned on Sunday the other days of the week.
This article was partly inspired by the ChurchMag Podcast, Ep. 3, "Should You Tweet During Church?"
Image courtesy of Zak Ruvalcaba