Honesty. Openness. Trust.
These three things are key to the relationship between a pastor and his congregation. They must be open and honest with one another, and they must trust one another. Otherwise, the pastor will truly never be any more than a pulpit supply minister, and the members of the church never truly his flock.
One measure of honesty, openness, and trust that has come about in recent years is a little social media engine known as Facebook. For years, I have guarded my Facebook, putting in place the highest levels of security protections, so that nobody who I did not specifically seek out or approve could look into the corners of my life that appeared there.
And yet… that just doesn’t seem very open or trusting. The fact of the matter is, I want my congregation to know what’s going on in my life, and I want to know what’s going on in yours as well. Facebook has, over the last decade, made it possible for pastors to be better connected to their congregations more than ever. And truth be told, I can’t think of an easier way to let y’all see Caitie and my wedding pictures in a month’s time!
So it is that I’ve decided to bring down the walls of protection I’ve built up around my Facebook over the years. I now leave it to each of you – if you wish to take a deeper look into the life of your pastor, I place my Facebook into your hands. Sure, you might see the occasional picture from my wild and crazy 20s (okay, they were neither that wild nor crazy), but let’s be fair: my sister Colleen was responsible for most of those.
I place my trust in all of you, the members of Gower Christian Church, and I hope that you will place your trust in me as well. Indeed, as the age old wisdom of the Rev. Fred Rogers goes: won’t you be my neighbor?