USCCB’s Rules for The Gospel and Social Media
Two caveats for evangelizers, that is, those who spread the Gospel today: 1. Use social media and 2. Follow its rules. It’s a new day in church work: the computer has replaced the pen, 15 minutes seems like eternity, and if you don’t get your message out fast, the audience disappears.
Here are some rules for social media evangelization:
1. Translate church teaching. If you pour out documents or list a series of them online, you’re not spreading the Gospel, you’re simply creating an electronic file box. A document drop might help someone with his dissertation but it won’t help us follow the command to go forth and teach all nations. Teachers have to translate church teaching into popular speech. The evangelizer is a translator.
2. Avoid church speak. Some phrases create barriers to communications. “Intrinsically evil,” for example, may earn an A on a theology paper but can merit an F in human discourse. Which drives home the message: “Abortion is wrong because it snuffs out innocent life” or “abortion is intrinsically evil”? One tells you what really happened. A second example of church speak is the word “presbyterate,” which emphasizes the distance between priests and people. There’s more warmth in speaking about “our priests.” “Presbyterate” sounds pejorative, as in “Listen, you presbyterate!” [more]