05.28.13

Instagram Will Kill Your Youth Ministry   by Daniel Beckworth

http://www.youthministry.com/articles/leadership/instagram-will-kill-your-youth-ministry

Social media has swept across this great nation like wildfire. Facebook is on its way out. If you still use Myspace you’re most likely a stalker—or very lonely. Twitter is still rocking along quite steadily and has yet to be completely infiltrated by preteens and stay-at-home moms. Vine represents the latest trend in video social media. And Instagram has firmly captured the market on pics. All of these sites host the massive “no, no” that I would like to delve into for a brief moment, but perhaps Instagram and Twitter host the largest majority of the crimes.

I am, of course, talking about the local male youth pastor taking a “selfie” with one of his female students. Some of you might not think that this is a big deal, but it carries major implications. And quite frankly, it seriously ticks me off. Every time I see this pop up on my timeline I want to throw my iPhone and kick a puppy. Seriously bro, how could you be so dumb? Here are some of the reasons why this is inappropriate.

1. A description of the crime
I’m not talking about posting a group pic of several students or even a group pic of several of your female students and you along side them. I’m talking about the pic that only includes the youth minister and a female student. This crime is only intensified when the two are extremely close. To make matters worse, I often see the youth minister and the female student hugged up on each other. The youth minister further brings criticism against himself if this offense is repeated on a weekly basis. Seriously bro, stop now.

2. It’s straight-up creepy
Every time we see that pic pop up on our timeline we all think, “That dude is a creep.”

3. Rumors spread quickly
If a crazed teenager grows angry at you, it is not uncommon for them to make up horrific stories about you. You can read real-life stories of this on the Internet. Don’t give anyone ammo to use against you.

4. Ministers of the gospel must be above reproach.
First Timothy 3:2 tells us that “an overseer must be above reproach…”

Ephesians 5:3 states, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

Posting picks of just you and a female student certainly leaves room for speculation. As a minister and a Christian, we must work to remove any room for criticism in the realm of sexual immorality. Don’t ride alone with a female student. Don’t counsel alone with a female student. And don’t post selfies with female students.

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