I just went potty. Who cares? How much personal stuff should people (maybe even specifically leaders) throw out into cyberspace? How do you balance personal and public? Figuring this out is a lifelong journey for most leaders (at the pulpit and the computer). Some err on the side of being very private (not me). Others share too much (could be me). But, I think that there can and should be a healthy balance (where I try and want to be).
Rick Warren and John Piper ascribe to this philosophy. There are 2 main responses to all this...
One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem.
The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can.
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I mostly agree with this. But, I think that sharing nothing personal strongly limits the chance that I will listen to what you have to say spiritually. In short, here's my very intentional philosophy:
- Share something personal.
- Share several things that are spiritual.
- Share something funny.
- Share several things that are inspiring.
- Be real and human.
- Be deep and provoking.
- Open a window into your humanity.
- Then, point them to your savior!
I have sufficient evidence that people listen when they think they can relate. If they see you as real, they may really listen to and respond to your spiritual direction and encouragement.
I am not sure what people are hiding. We are all human. We all like a good joke. We all crave General Tso Chicken from time to time. If we are going to do life together online, then let's!
The question, then, is....where and how do we cross the line. What and where is "the line"? Thoughts? Do share.