When I open any one of my social media accounts (markmac1023), I'm amazed at the anger, arguments, and heated discussions.
Many of the posts are hardcore political, especially since America endured a divisive political campaign that continues with an unexpected winner.
As our President conducts business, many interject a very forceful opinion about each action.
Since the Church wants to engage with their community, doesn't it make sense for them to chime in?
Short answer: No. And here are 4 reasons why:
1. The Church needs to be a different voice that stands out.
I've recently heard many say they need a break from social media because of the harshness of political posts. Be that break. Consistently deliver an oasis of positive thought. Exactly like they'll experience when they attend your church or interact with your people. In the midst of the pervasive anger, be the voice of truth, joy, grace, and mercy.
2. Politics divide.
Potentially half of your community will disagree with your partisan post. You're basically starting an argument that will leave many upset and disengaged. It's really not worth it. On social media, your church voice needs to attract not repel. The message of the Gospel is simply too important to have it any other way. Don't build a wall between you and them.
3. The Gospel is your bigger issue.
In your posts don’t be negative, judgmental or condemning. You need to spend your time carefully posting about the Gospel. Jesus, when approached by the woman at the well, could’ve shut the conversation down; instead, He engaged her with a solution to her thirst.
Only after gaining attention with her temporal solution, He pointed to her spiritual need. "Water; so you'll never thirst again" is a very positive discussion. The Gospel is worth the effort to explain all of its benefits on social media.
Keep the negatives, judgement, and condemnations off your social media unless you want to drive people away and alienate your church.
4. Your social media should be about your thread.. and Jesus.
Like the water discussion above, your church needs to know what thread will engage in your specific community. A solution about their needs or their goals.
Your social media then needs to continuously entertain, educate, and deliver solutions near/around your thread area. That's communicating your brand positioning. And then, from time to time, connect your temporal thread to the Scarlet Thread of the gospel.
So what should you do if someone comments on your post and is political? Delete it? Again, no. I believe your church response demonstrates what Christians should be known for. So lovingly understand.
Reply that your page isn't the best forum for a political discussion and somehow tie your response to your thread. Be clever, humorous, but respectful you want to disarm (take note what you did in the original post to draw a political response so later you can post differently). If someone continues to abuse their right to be on the page, I'd message them privately showing grace; and only as last resort, remove their posts.
PS: Fortunately, this rarely has to happen!