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  • Facebook, Jesus, and Your Church



    (Anti-) Social Networking Etiquette

    by Pastor Bob Enyart
    Denver Bible Church

    As at ten thousand other churches, use of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, online forums and email affect the fellowship at Denver Bible Church. Consider these pastor’s tips for etiquette regarding online demeanor, the percentage of a congregation that “friends” one another, email use, and public ‘counseling.’

    Online Demeanor & Your Church Witness: People are so much more polite to one another in grocery-store checkout lines than behind the wheel in traffic and on Internet forums. It’s not that automobiles and the web are sources of bad behavior. (Of course the horrendous temptation of pornography floods the Internet and every family should protect itself with a filter like Net Nanny.) Though as Jesus said, a man is not defiled “from outside… [but] what comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts… pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:18, 20-22). Of course healthy evangelism and discipleship include debate and confrontation, and some have tried to water down Christianity, and unintentionally advocate being nicer than God. But the relative anonymity of online forums daily brings out bad behavior in millions of web users. When Christians and others put on their “web face” and post on Facebook, it is so easy to be abrupt, sarcastic, and plain rude to people you would treat in person with great respect. Recommendation: when possible, immediately or very quickly, bring disagreements and rebukes offline and in person, and avoid unnecessary taking sides and “piling on.”

    Percent of Congregation: Sixty percent of churches in America have fewer than 100 weekly attendees and at the other end of the spectrum, one hundredth of one percent of churches (only 40 of them) have an attendance of more than 10,000. In a small church, if a dozen families “friend” one another, their Facebook posts, for example, appear on the web pages of most of the members in the church, and as a result, whatever they write has apparent approval of the church. For example, imagine a church member posting a joke about the murder of an abortionist, or a positive review of a movie he saw that weekend, even though the film had seductive immorality. If the member belonged to a large fellowship, his post would not seem to have the inherent approval of the whole church. Whereas, in a small church, as the percentage of attendees who “friend” each other increases, the presumption of church approval for each “posting” increases. (By the way, movies with sexual nudity harm everyone, and no one should recommend such films; Mark 9:42; 1 Cor. 6:18.) Recommendation: regardless of the size of your church, ask God to help you avoid being a bad influence; consider "unfriending" those who lack wisdom in some post, not as a condemnation but as a way of limiting the distribution of that post; don’t flaunt the liberty you have in Christ; and realize that you are an ambassador of the Lord Jesus.

    Email: Don’t be a Christian spammer. The world doesn’t need Christian thieves, Christian drunkards, nor Christian spammers. Increasingly, automatic filters delete emails with non-descript subjects like: “Read This,” “Don’t miss,” etc. Forward emails only after careful thought. If you forward a false rumor, you are responsible for harm it may produce. Check out questionable stories before sharing them, otherwise you will lose credibility, and that will harm your testimony. Don’t put the burden on your friends to check out the truthfulness of the email you send. You check it out first. And if it’s not worth your time to personalize the subject, it might not be worth your friend’s time to open it, which now he must do just to find out the topic. Consider being similarly helpful by describing a link in an email rather than sending just a raw link. Also, if you email a group of people, use "Bcc" (blind carbon copy) to "hide" their identities because otherwise, you will be distributing their email IDs in a single, easy-to-copy list that will possibly multiply the spam they receive and might even facilitate harmful emails going to a wide group. Recommendation: learn to recognize and avoid spam; don't spread rumors; and be thoughtful of your recipient's time.

    Public Counseling: an Internet forum hardly even qualifies as a poor man’s counseling couch. If someone reveals online their own destructive beliefs or behavior, a proper response will often depend on your geographic locations. If you will never meet this person, who perhaps lives half-way around the world, and you decide according to biblical standards to correct, confront, or rebuke him, you may have to do so publicly. (Of course, you might have more success if you minister through a private instant message or email.) But if you regularly see this person you care about at church, twitter-like counseling can easily be the result of laziness or even cowardice, leading to online rather than in-person dialogue. As Jesus said, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone” (Mat. 18:15-17). As much of the New Testament consists of epistles, Jesus could have said, “Send him a letter.” But He did not. And of course the Lord’s instruction applies to private sin. Public sin and wrongdoing by leaders often requires public confrontation as occurs in Scripture. For otherwise, such misapplication of the Lord’s teaching would effectively insulate generally inaccessible leaders of large ministries from accountability to their flock. Recommendation: don’t twitter away your opportunity to minister to a brother in need by unnecessary public rebuke; counsel your brother in person.

    Online, as with all human interaction, we need God’s wisdom to honor Him through our words and deeds. Please ask God for discernment and to help you love Him and others. Bad behavior, even if somewhat unintentional on your part, can inflict great harm on another. Seek the Lord in everything and you will be a blessing to your physical and web neighbors!
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

  • #2
    The BCC idea is something all people should do. I don't know why I never thought of it.
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3


      Sadly, people tend to prefer to hit and run on the internet rather than have a real discussion (in person or on the internet).
      Writhe in the cruel bloom

      Comment


      • #4
        Uhoh, I just got unfriended by 26 people.


        grace & peace

        Comment


        • #5
          Is it just me, or does the title sound a little like a Relient K song?
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Twitter is a bit too social of a social app for me. No one cares about what I'm doing 24/7, and likewise, I don't care about what anyone else is doing 24/7. "Big brother" and stalkers might, but I don't. If you ask me, Twitter is...
            Last edited by Lucky; August 28th, 2009, 12:13 PM.
            grace & peace

            Comment


            • #7
              Excellent, excellent article!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lucky View Post
                Twitter is a bit too social of a social app for me. No one cares about what I'm doing 24/7, and likewise, I don't care about what anyone else is doing 24/7. "Big brother" and stalkers might, but I don't. If you ask me, Twitter is...
                And thus started the great Twitter rebellion of 2009.
                Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
                TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Knight View Post
                  And thus started the great Twitter rebellion of 2009.
                  Yes! Fight The Man. He wants everyone to check in and report on what they're doing. What about freedom? What about liberty? Flee the twitter conspiracy.
                  grace & peace

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    With Twitter, who needs the CIA, NSA, or the Patriot Act to find out what people are doing...
                    Last edited by Nick M; June 4th, 2009, 11:42 AM.
                    Jesus saves completely. http://www.climatedepot.com/ http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

                    Titus 1

                    For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped

                    Ephesians 5

                    11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      two references

                      Guys, thanks for the input (and jokes)! This was posted coincidentally the week that the late abortionist George Tiller had been murdered, so I mention in the piece the effect on a small church that posts on that event can have. I'd like to point to two references to that event that are worthwhile:

                      1. TheGeorgeTillerMemorial.com (a shocking must see)
                      2. The first paragraph of the ARTL Vigilante Worksheet.

                      Again, thanks guys for the input!

                      -Bob Enyart
                      Denver Bible Church
                      The Bob Enyart Live talk show airs at KGOV.com weekdays at 5 pm E.T. Also, same time, same station, check out Theology Thursday (.com) and on Fridays, Real Science Radio (.com) a.k.a. rsr.org. All shows are available 24/7 and you can call us at at 1-800-8Enyart.

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        .com
                        grace & peace

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lucky View Post
                          Twitter is a bit too social of a social app for me. No one cares about what I'm doing 24/7, and likewise, I don't care about what anyone else is doing 24/7. "Big brother" and stalkers might, but I don't. If you ask me, Twitter is...
                          I agree.

                          Originally posted by Lucky View Post
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            YouTwitFace! Good embed Lucky! Hey, was that Conan?

                            YouTwitFace! Ha! Now, Lucky, that was a good embed!

                            Was that Conan O'Brien? I've never watched his show, but I've never forgotten his name since LeSEA Broadcasting mentioned him in a press release a few years back...

                            Let's see if I can find that on my PC (AL6)... ahh yes, here it is...

                            Is it too self-serving to copy this here? Oh well, it's late, and I'm tired and lacking in good judgment, so here goes...

                            Conservative Talker Beat NBC’s Ratings

                            Nielsen ratings reveal Bob Enyart can draw
                            a larger audience than NBC’s Conan O’Brien


                            Nielsen TV ratings show that the conservative news-talk show, Bob Enyart Live is able to draw a larger audience than NBC’s Conan O’Brien on at least a couple nights each week. Nielsen compiled this data from the Notre Dame TV market in South Bend, Indiana which is one of the top 100 markets in America with 305,000 households.

                            At times, Bob Enyart Live also outperformed CBS in his timeslot. “It is outstanding when a daily conservative talk show competes favorably with Network programming,” said Craig Wallin, General Manager for World Harvest Television, on of the independent networks that airs Enyart’s program. “Bob is also doing well against Entertainment Tonight, Married with Children and Northern Exposure,” Wallin said, “and he totally blew away PBS.”

                            On Monday nights, Enyart’s show has a nine share, meaning that it is watched by nine percent (9%) of all the people viewing TV at that time. Conan O’Brien comes on during Bob’s second half hour, during which time Enyart’s share increases to ten (10%) and then, for the last quarter hour, to twelve percent (12%)! During this Monday time slot NBC averaged a nine share (9%) which grew to an eleven share (11%) during Conan’s second 15 minute segment. On Thursday nights, Enyart’s show opens with a seven percent (7%) share increasing to nine (9%) and then again to twelve percent (12%)! During this slot, Bob’s final segment ties Conan O’Brien’s twelve percent (12%) draw, even though Bob is competing against the first half of that NBC program.

                            After a competitive open (11% share) by CBS’s Tom Snyder on Monday nights to Enyart’s ten share, Snyder’s next three quarter hours shrinks to a size smaller than can be reliably rated, as Nielsen states it, “below minimum audience standards.” CBS losses this contest when Bob Enyart Live pulls twelve percent (12%) during Snyder’s show. And on Thursday nights Enyart ties CBS when he and Snyder both draw nine and twelve shares during two consecutive segments.

                            The Bob Enyart Live audience equaled that for Fox’s Northern Exposure on Monday nights in their first segments, both pulling nine shares against an audience too small for Nielsen to report for Masterpiece Theater on PBS. On this night and others, Enyart also averaged an audience greater than half the size of the those audiences for Entertainment Tonight and Newscenter 16 on NBC and Married with Children on CBS.

                            Bob Enyart Live achieves this success in local markets even though it is independently produced on a shoe-string budget and has no promotions and no advertising to help build its audience. Yet, averaging Monday through Friday audiences, the show earned a six share (6%) at the program’s open, growing to a nine share (9%) in it’s last quarter hour, with no promotion budget! While pulling an average of six to nine percent of the households viewing television (share points), Enyart’s program achieved a full rating point, which equals one percent of all households having televisions (rating points), at midnight to 1 a.m., and this in a significant college market with nearly a third of a million households.

                            At the time of these Nielson ratings, Bob Enyart Live aired in about eighty TV markets including Denver, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, and Honolulu. Notre Dame/South Bend is the only market for which our program has audience measurements because the relatively small, independent TV stations that carry Bob’s show do not normally subscribe to the Nielsen ratings service because of its cost and because other than for Bob’s show, their programs typically do not draw large enough audiences to measure.

                            Bob Enyart hosted a TV show for four years and has since hosted a daily radio show for ten. The above data from his TV program is documented in the July 1996 Nielsen Station Index which is accredited by the Electronic Media Rating Council. This index is based on the South Bend-Elkhart, Indiana Designated Market Area (DMA) which is the 85th largest market in America. Update: In the February 1997 Nielsen Station Index, Bob Enyart Live was still pulling full rating points in this market during all four segments of the program.

                            For more information, please contact:
                            Ray Greybar
                            Ross Mountain Public Relations
                            970 224-xxxx
                            or BEL Directly at 1-800-8Enyart
                            The Bob Enyart Live talk show airs at KGOV.com weekdays at 5 pm E.T. Also, same time, same station, check out Theology Thursday (.com) and on Fridays, Real Science Radio (.com) a.k.a. rsr.org. All shows are available 24/7 and you can call us at at 1-800-8Enyart.

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