Religion Tackles Social Media

Sunday’s New York Times covers the rising profile of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, in organized religion. Challenges include setting rules and boundaries

In online debates and private discussions, leaders of all faiths have been weighing pros and cons and diagramming the boundaries of acceptable interactions: Should the congregation have a Facebook page, or should it be the imam’s or priest’s? Should there be limited access? Censoring? Is it appropriate for a clergy member to “friend” a minor?

… to feeling comfortable giving up some control of the message

“If total control is what you want, social media will frustrate you,” [Rev. Bill Reichart] said, reprising his advice to the clergy. “But the trade-off is the ability to hear and learn, reach out in new directions”… “The young don’t do e-mail anymore,” he said. “They do Facebook.”

And like any other institution, there’s a need to balance tradition with staying relevant.

“If someone chooses to interact with us mischievously, that’s fine,” said the Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, the church vicar. “The opposite of engagement is not mischief, but apathy.”


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3 thoughts on “Religion Tackles Social Media

  1. What a money quote by Reichart!

    Churches are made for social media. What a great way to bring congregations together and increase the conversation. Sure, lots of them are screwing it up as we all try to figure it out, but at least they’re trying.