There are several ways pastors may be tempted to misuse social media. They may treat it as a highlight reel, showing off their ministry successes and building up an online identity disconnected from real life. Or they may become active participants in the outrage culture of Facebook and Twitter rather than diffusers of online conflict. Given the many ways using social media can go wrong, would it be better for pastors to stay away entirely?

Not necessarily, say Russell Moore, Trevin Wax, and Scott Sauls in this discussion. No pastor should find his identity in his online persona. But given how pervasive social media is in our society, there can be tangible benefits for pastors who engage with people online. Sauls sums up the pastor’s complicated relationship with social media this way: “It can be an opportunity to be a good example. It can also be an opportunity to ruin your witness.”