Commentary: 6 pros and cons to know about church social media so you can use it wisely


Social media has the power to transmit ideas and information to those you minister to almost instantaneously, sometimes triggering a flood of opinions and reactions from the public. Whether you post an announcement about a schedule change, broadcast a debatable opinion or share results from an outreach activity, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of church social media to use it wisely.

Pros of Social Media

  1. Inform your audience. Get announcements, schedules, events and resources into the hands of a wide audience quickly and simultaneously with social media. Getting the word out to your connections only takes a few clicks. This saves valuable time that might otherwise be spent on multiple phone calls and can help prevent your information from getting buried in numerous emails.
  2. Build a community. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us of the importance of community for believers. An online presence can help reach new people and build relationships. While not replacing in-person gatherings, social media can help church members stay connected if it’s challenging to meet in person — whether due to hazardous weather or when someone isn’t feeling well.
  3. Grow your ministry. Advancing the Kingdom of God includes discipling others and growing your ministry. While social media as a tool should be only supplemental to a believer’s walk with Christ, here are a few ways social media can help with ministry outreach:
  • Social media can help direct people to discipleship resources such as sermon podcasts, Bible studies and devotionals.
  • An online presence can introduce nonbelievers to faith, the church and ultimately, Jesus.
  • When traveling or homebound, people in unique circumstances can tap into resources and maintain connections through social media.

Cons of Social Media

  1. Dealing with negative comments. A hurtful comment, blunt insult or discouraging remark can be a distraction from your message and result in hurt feelings and damaged relationships. Having social media for your ministry requires monitoring, removing or redirecting harmful comments to minimize headaches and heartaches. Developing a social media policy for church use can help reduce the risks involved.
  2.  A temptation to address potential conflicts online instead of in person. Hurtful words can spark a desire to fire back online. However, Ephesians 4:29 tells us not to let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, “but only what is good for building up someone in need”. (CSB) While it may sometimes feel easier to handle an escalating situation online, you must be careful with your written comments and responses — and consider how your remarks might be received.
  3. Excluding some members unintentionally. Some people in your ministry may not be active on social media, which can make them feel left out or prevent them from having access to your latest news. Whether it’s an older generation or someone who chooses to be free from social media, creating a communication plan for your offline members is important.

Safeguard Your Ministry While Using Social Media

As with all forms of technology, a cybersecurity risk comes with using church social media. GuideStone® is equipped to help protect your ministry’s data and online presence. For a risk assessment or more information, contact us at or (214) 720-2868, Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT and Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT.


Megan Cuzen is a Certified Risk Manager and a licensed, experienced property and casualty church insurance professional who has served churches through GuideStone® since 2010.