What does it look like to be a Christian online? Everyone’s engagement is different. Whether you’re an ordained Minister of the church using Twitter or a churchgoer replying to the comments on a blog, we all have different views, histories and areas of interest that will affect how we perceive things, and our responses to those events. The comments we make can reach thousands and even millions of people both in this country and around the world very quickly.
Social media is a very public way of enabling us as Christians to live out our calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ. One of its many joys is that it is immediate, interactive, conversational and open-ended. This opportunity comes with a number of downsides if users do not apply the same common sense, kindness and sound judgement that we would use in a face-to-face encounter.
However, there are a number of ways we can make the digital world as loving and generous as we would when speaking face to face. Here are some helpful guidelines that have been developed by the Church in England which you might agree to abide by as an expression of your Christian faith:
Be honest – we should hold ourselves to high ideals of checking that what we post online is fair and factual. Don’t mislead people about who you are.
Be kind – we are all different and that makes the world an interesting place – and at times a challenging one. Think the best of people, whether they share our views or are speaking against them and aim to be constructive in the way we engage. Treat others how you would wish to be treated, and if you have a
criticism consider not just whether you would say it in person but the tone you would use
Be respectful – Don’t post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful. We are one Church and other members of this Church are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is crucial we treat those around us in this way.
Be a good ambassador – we are called to be witnesses of our faith and to use social media in a way that genuinely engages others. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post.
Take responsibility – You are accountable for the things you do, say and write. Text and images shared can be public and permanent, even with privacy settings in place. If you’re not sure, don’t share or post it.
Be safe – if you have any concerns about the wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults, please contact your Minister or Elder.
See the the full guidelines from the Church of England on this link: