Youth Leaders and Facebook

I came across a great blog from Josh Griffin (the high school pastor at Saddleback Community Church).  You can view his entire blog on this topic by clicking here.  After talking with my wife a little about this topic this week, I thought it would be good to put out this pearl of wisdom to all those who work with youth for Jesus Christ.  I think that this could also apply to any believer.

Here's what Josh wrote...

Remember what you post is public
Here’s the big deal – a joke that is funny between a few friends might not be funny at all out of context or in the harsh light of public view. Remember that everything you post – picture, status update or essay, becomes completely public the second you push submit. You can never really take it back once its out there, so be wise and use discernment with everything you post.

Remember what you post influences students
Your students are checking out your profile. They look up to you. They are eager to make a connection with you, and since they’re always on Facebook they’ll almost always see what you post. But it is so much more than just seeing – what you say, what you value, what you show yourself doing – it all influences students – the good, bad and ugly. When you give an inch, they may take it a mile. Of course, it works the other way as well, when you use social media positively, it can have a significant encouraging influence on them, too.

Remember what you post is a reflection on our student ministry/church
Your character and faith is reflected in every post that you make so if you are doubtful about something, here’s a simple rule to follow: DON’T POST IT. Just like behavior on a youth ministry trip is a reflection on the church and student ministry, know that what you post adds or detracts to the reputation of the church and ministry … and ultimately Christ.

What guardrails/accountability do you have with your leaders (and yourself) concerning what is posted on their facebook?

What are some of your experiences with the use or misuse of social networking (facebook, myspace, etc)?