Pastors: #rethink your Instagram

Erik Raymond —  June 7, 2013

There is no doubt in my mind that technology is a win for the kingdom. We are able to disseminate truth, communicate, promote ministry, and testify to the gospel. This is a major gain.

At the same time there is a potential danger with this media. And maybe the danger reveals an underlying issue. The danger is that people may perceive that pastors sit around doing nothing all day except snapping pictures of their food, recreation, and relaxation. Again this may be the reality–which is a bigger problem.


Pastors need to think carefully about what they are sharing (and doing). We have a schedule that is flexible and demanding. There are long nights and early mornings. But ministry has also been a place for lazy, free-loaders to loaf about doing nothing but spending the church’s money and wasting time. Unfortunately this is a perception that many people have with pastoral ministry.

As a result, you are not helping things if you are a pastor and you continually post pictures on Instagram of you living like a cross between a college student cutting class and a retired businessman on the golf course or at the bar. You have got to think it through.

Think about the guy at your church who works for the city or works on houses or the homeschool mom. Their day is packed with work with little to no breaks. Then they get some free time in the evening and they check their Facebook or Instagram only to see their pastor post more pictures of his leisurely, chill-filled life. Again, it probably does not tell the whole story of what you do as a pastor but it is the story that you are sharing.

The ministry is a high calling by The Lord Jesus Christ. We are to reflect the hard-working farmer, the loyal soldier, and the dedicated athlete (2Tim. 2.1-7). If Paul would have used retiree or vacationing or frat partying language it probably would not have communicated the same idea of faithfulness, diligence and singularity of focus.

As a result, you should rethink your Instagram.

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

3 responses to Pastors: #rethink your Instagram

  1. Brother, you have rightly touched on an important point. Well put.

  2. Excellent post. I’ve benefited greatly from the blogs of pastors and leaders but I’ve also wondered, in certain instances, how it is a full-time pastor can find inordinate amounts of time during the work day to post & interact with others on social media without compromising faithfulness to the people at his church — not to mention the home! Lord knows, they couldn’t get away with blogging, tweeting, face booking, etc throughout the work day if they worked in corporate. Thanks for putting this out there. Somebody needed to say it.

  3. Excellent post, brother. As a seminary student, I had more time that I do now. Now as a husband, father, and a pastor, I have no idea how some have the time to instagram or tweet as much as they do.

    “We have a schedule that is flexible and demanding” – my favorite sentence in here. This is so true. If we’re not careful, we’re not faithful to God’s call to serve him. That’s scary.