I was talking with someone the other day tasked with updating their church’s Facebook page. They faced a conundrum many of us probably do -- whether or not it’s okay to block someone from the church’s page.
Here’s the brief background. This particular member of the church is well known for trying to say and do things to get attention. It’s an illness the church has assisted this person to get help for. Lately, this member has been leaving inappropriate comments, some sexual, and others way off topic. The person in charge of the Facebook page is consistently deleting them and now is considering blocking the person. But the key issue became: “I feel bad blocking someone from ministry.”
My basic response was you’re not blocking someone from ministry. This person isn’t being told they can’t come to church or participate in certain other groups. They’re still being able to worship. In the same way you would tell a woman they can’t be a part of the men’s ministry group, this person should be told if you can’t have an appropriate conversation on Facebook, you’re not allowed to participate. Plus you owe it to all of the other people who “Like” and keep track of your church on Facebook.
I know part of online ministry, especially social media, is the free exchange of ideas in a transparent kind of way. And any sort of moderation or blocking should be used sparingly for extreme situations. In this case, I think the person who’s the admin would be okay in blocking this person (as long as an explanation goes along with it).
How do you handle the whole blocking issue?