Pastor, how are you on Facebook so much?

Social media on Smartphone

I’ve posted a similar answer to this before but in my new role some are asking the question again: Pastor, how are you on Facebook so much?

I honestly think the real question is “Why?” and some think it means I don’t work very much, but if only they knew.

Perhaps, if you follow me online, you wonder the same thing. So, let me try to help you understand.

First things first, I’m probably not on as much as you think I am. If you think so, then the strategy is working. I’ve been doing online ministry since 1996. That’s a long time. I started with a daily devotional that quickly turned into a ministry opportunity. Though they are mostly recycled now, that site is still active. (www.mustardseedministry.com) I learned that if I was going to do ministry with the potentials to reach tens of thousands (the Internet makes the world small), I had to be smart about it.

So, I work smart.

Here are four words to describe my Internet strategy.

Since I’m a pastor, and you’d want me to be pastoral, they all begin with the same letter. 🙂

Value – I recognize the value of being online. For the past several years, Facebook has been the most prominent way people reach me in my church. It also gives them a sense that they know me. I hear people every week say they feel they can follow me throughout the week, just by reading my status updates. In addition, I have the opportunity to minister to even a larger group, including hundreds of pastors and leaders around the country.

Vision – I have a vision of not only sharing the stuff I write (which I also see as a ministry), but sharing pieces about my life. I’ve learned it makes me seem more real if you see the person behind the thoughts. That’s why you may read something funny, some random thought, even an encouraging word I have for my wife. I want you to know me, so that when I share something serious, you’re more likely to take it serious because you feel you know me and hopefully I’ve become a reliable source. (Just to be clear, I’m capable of being wrong too, and unless I’m posting Scripture itself, it’s an opinion.)

Velocity – Now as for the frequency. There will always be those who think I post too much and those who wish I posted more. If I’m quiet for a couple days, I’ll hear from people who wonder if something is wrong. I’ve learned people depend on a certain amount of frequency. Plus, for those who are only on once or a few times a day, they may miss some of what I post if I don’t post things periodically throughout the day. The pace of doing so is really easy. I usually have my phone with me. If I have  a thought, it takes me only a few seconds to put it out there. You’ll notice I don’t respond to a lot of other comments. I’m usually on and off of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn very quickly. The total time per day is less than it appears. Plus, I can automate many of my posts if I choose to do so. Sometimes I do…sometimes I don’t. I’m not telling which are and which aren’t. 🙂 The key is consistency and I’ve gotten pretty good at that over the years.

InVestment – (How’d you like the clever use of that V?) I have to believe that online communication is making a difference in people’s lives. I can only judge that based on the feedback I receive, and I receive lots. I’ve been overwhelmed at the responses I have gotten throughout my church and the world. I literally get emails every single day from people saying I was there at just the right time or said just the right thing. I’m not taking credit for that, just pointing out that God uses this avenue in ministry for His glory and I’m thankful to play a part.

Well, that’s my story. Why are you online?

If we aren’t connected online, you can find me here:

Twitter: @RonEdmondson
Facebook personal: RonaldEdmondson
Facebook Page: RonAEdmondson
Instagram: RonEdmondson
LinkedIn: Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 21 Comments

  • […] MEDIA: Pastor, how much are you on social media? As a pastor, I found this […]

  • Pastor Zach Malott
    Twitter:
    says:

    I agree with social media being an excellent way to provide the world with the message of Christ. When used intelligently, it allows more people in a day to be reached for Christ than anyone could possibly reach in the same day without.

    I advocate that every minister should make use of this media or the only one who will be utilizing it will be Satan.

    Go for it, Pastors!

  • Sam says:

    I'm a minister with a church, and I'm "on Facebook" almost all day . . . in the same way that I'm on my e-mail program all day. That is, my e-mail program (Outlook) is open on my laptop all day. Notifications come up on screen to tell me that something has arrived there, and I may choose to look at it. Likewise, Facebook is open on my laptop all day, mostly on an open tab that is sitting behind whatever I'm working on. Notifications come up on screen to tell me that someone has in our church has posted or interacted with me, and I may choose to look at it.

    So, yeah, I'm on Facebook "all the time" . . . but that doesn't mean I'm scrolling or surfing or playing games. It is, as you say, a valuable communications tool within the church and with compatriots in the field.

  • kmac4him
    Twitter:
    says:

    Basically, I am online because of followship. God is online, because this generation is online. God goes where the people are. I go where God is. I am called to God 1st and my life serves to please Him. If people don't understand my online call, that is okay, I am not called to please people, I am called to obey God's commission on my life.

  • […] Pastor, how are you on Facebook so much? You may not have said it. But have you thought it? Ron Edmondson explains his social media strategy with four words. […]

  • It seems to me that the ones who comment on "how much time" we spend on social media are usually the ones who do not understand how easy it is to share and post

  • Joseph says:

    I'm not a pastor? (:

  • Pastor: Now im re-evaluating my SocialNetwworking strategy, because of many problems I had to close FB, there out its a lot of people who thinks that we as pastors cant share somethings as regular social-life. people thinks if I share a picture of my dog Im not behaving "as Pastor" (just one example of many, and Im no kidding) ….I like this article thanks,

  • Cindy White says:

    I have to say that I am really glad that you are and have been online for a long time. I am so thankful for times that you answered questions that I have even though I have never been in your Church. At one time when you were first on Facebook (not sure if you remember) you even joked with me about coming to hear you preach even though it was something like 12 hours or so. Funny thing is that we are now possibly moving to TN. Thank you for being real and caring about others.

  • […] but recently a fellow pastor shared his thoughts regarding this very issue. You can find his post here. Yeah, what HE […]

  • joanne Moore says:

    I like FB. You said it exactly what Allen and I have said. It makes us see you as someone we know,not just our pastor. Your comments about something you have done or thought makes you seem just as oridinary as others. We have learned over the years that people forget that you pastors are just people too. Your scriptures and blogs are so helpful. They seem to appear just as I need them. Keep it up

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