Social Media Covenant

The Michigan Conference is blessed by the ability to communicate in community through our social media sites.  The purpose of this covenant is to create a grace filled safe space for Michigan United Methodists to post items or interest or discussion.

In joining or liking our pages, we invite you to freely post items of interest or discussion for United Methodists in Michigan.  We ask that you do so in a respectful manner.  We understand this site may be a place for debate on difficult subjects, but we ask that you not aggressively bait or defame other members.  Members may not post anything that; defames or discloses confidential or private information, is obscene , endorses political candidates or parties, uses profanity, contains for-profit advertising messages, threats or harassment.  The Office of Communication reserves the right to remove members for violations of this covenant.  Questions regarding this policy should be sent to the Michigan Conference Director of Communication. We encourage you to read our 3 simple rules for Social Media.

3 Simple Rules for Social Media

  1.  Do no harm

One of the benefits of social media is that it provides the opportunity to share views, thoughts, joys and con- cerns about all areas of life. Our social media contributions can be very effec- tive tools for ministry if we are careful to apply caution before we post. We will be careful that our posts are not “doing harm” by insulting or damaging the reputation of others. We will make sure our posts are respectful and in good taste. And we remember: Every- thing we post – status updates, com- ments, tweets, blogs – becomes public immediately after we click ”send”

(even if we’re using a limited access setting). We can’t take it back once it’s out there, so we will use discernment with everything we post.

TO THINK ABOUT: Is the post “doing harm” to the reputation of the church, Christ or another person or organization? Can the post be interpreted as harmful, offensive, rude or distasteful? If using the post as an outlet to vent,remember, our character and faith are reflected in each post we make, so if we are not sure about something, we won’t post it.

  1.  Do good

Social media is one of the most effective methods of church networking and communicating today. Whenused properly, it can have a significant encouraging influence on our readers and become a powerful tool for delivering the Gospel message to a large audience that extends beyond our contact list. It is a great tool for net- working and providing the world with news about our church and ministry. It also is a very useful tool for obtaining feedback and ideas from our audience and can be used to gain insight for sermons, Bible study topics, worship times, needs of the community, etc. The “good” and positive uses of social media are endless.

TO THINK ABOUT: Can the post be described as “good”? Will it help the Kingdom and fellow believers? How will it be perceived by non-believers? How will the post be received by people with different cultural or faith backgrounds? Are we communicating effectively by asking questions in addition to providing information?

  1. Stay in love with God

Social media is a great way to find meaningful devotional materials, thought provoking blogs, inspiring worship videos and media resources, and current articles and tools for our ministry. Users have reported that their social media usage helps keep. them informed and enthusiastic about their ministry on a daily basis. While it can definitely help us “stay in love with God,” it also can be very distracting. We will make sure our use of social media does not occupy so much of our time that we are no longer participating in meaningful Bible study,
devotional times, worship and conversations with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Social media can serve as a tool to aid, promote and conduct discussions, studies and devotional times, but should not be our primary source of interaction with the world.

TO THINK ABOUT: How is/can social media helping me to stay in love with God? How is it hindering me? How am I helping others stay in love with God by my social media contributions?

“Three Simple Rules for Social Media” has been adopted from a document created by the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church.