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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Facebook for Pastors

As a reporter, I’m always a bit careful of what I post on Facebook. And, well, I also friended my mom. When you type a short status update, it’s hard to let people know you’re being funny or sarcastic, so there’s just so many chances to create a problem. It never occurred to me that this would be just as much of a problem–if not more–for a pastor. For example, I have no problem writing that I’m struggling with my kids at any given moment. As a reporter, people are looking for me to be fair not a perfect parent. But if I were clergy, the standards would probably be a little bit higher.

Christian Century has a story about this, written by a pastor who explores clergy rules for Facebook:

Pastoral ministry is a public calling, and in our social-media age this calling extends to online identities and relationships. I laud the possibilities social media presents and urge the church to use the tools for the kingdom. But just as church-owned houses offer particular challenges to a pastor and family when members drop in unannounced to fill the fridge with makings for the women’s tea, Facebook offers the challenge of unclear and ever-changing boundaries.

The writer, Adam J. Copeland, offers a set of rules he’s developed. Check out the story here.

And while you’re thinking about Facebook, check out the About Faith page.

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