Nov 18, 2013

What to Do When a Volunteer Posts Something Inappropriate on Facebook

Has it happened in your ministry?  If not, it probably will one day.

A volunteer posts something inappropriate on Facebook.

It may be a vulgar word, an inappropriate picture, or something that doesn't line up with your ministry's core values.

What should you do?

Be preventative.
As part of your on-boarding process, have every potential volunteer sign a social media agreement.  This involves three things.

First, ask them if they currently have anything on their page that would be offensive, inappropriate or a stumbling block.

Secondly, explain why their social media content matters.  It is an open testimony of their spiritual life and if they join your team...of your ministry's character and integrity.

Thirdly, ask them to sign an agreement that they will not post anything that is inappropriate or goes against the ministry's core values.

Be personal.
When you find out that one of your volunteers has posted something inappropriate, then talk with them face-to-face.  Bring the post to their attention.  Then remind them of the "why" behind the guideline.   Ask them about the post.  Have access to it so you can bring it online or have a print out of it.

Be pastoral.
Speak the truth in love.  Many times, you will find that they didn't even realize the post was inappropriate.  Look at it as an opportunity to help then grow as a Christ follower.  Come with grace and love instead of condemnation and judgment.
 
Be persistent.
Ask them to take the post down.  If they agree, check back and make sure they did.   If they still haven't taken the post down, then have another face-to-face.  Let them know at this point if they do not take it down it,  it will jeopardize their involvement on the team.  If they are resistant, then you probably don't need them on your team.

Your turn.  Has this ever happened to you?  How do you respond?  Any tips on how to handle the situation?  Share your thoughts with us int the comment section below.