Is it possible that a pastor can be self-focused, self-centered, downright narcissistic and not even know it? I’m certain it’s possible.
I must confess that there was a time in my life when those terms described me and I didn’t realize it. You say, “How can that be?” Because, in this social networking world, what may seem to be the normal way to live life may actually be the avenue through which we feed our own egos. And many pastors are social networking phenoms!
Blogs, Facebook posts, Instragram post, and 140 character Twitter messages may simply be ways to prompt our “audience” to praise us. Each time a blog post gets read, every instance when a Facebook post goes viral, and anytime a tweet catches the eye of the multitudes or a celebrity pastor or denominational leader retweets it, the self-centered pastor gets his fix. And, if we’re addicted to getting a fix of this nature, we are self-absorbed, attention addicts. I understand this well.
I use to watch my klout score closely. If it grew my ego got its daily fix. I checked my blog stats at least four times a day to see how many people had clicked on the content I’d made available to the world. And it wasn’t unusual for me to tweet three times a day then watch to see how many times I was retweeted. While a pastor may not realize it, social networking may be the avenue through which they seek glory for themselves rather than seeking to make Jesus famous. You see, it’s impossible to glorify oneself while at the same time bringing glory to God.
I would like to challenge those of you who pastor and are deeply into social networking to do the following for two weeks. If you do this for two weeks, the level of emotional withdrawals you experience will tell you much about your heart.
The Challenge… Don’t tweet, blog, Instragram, or Facebook for two weeks. During that time, make a note of how often you start to do one of these things and feel discouraged that you can’t. Also, make note of how often you feel as though you’re not being heard by your “audience.” And most importantly, when either of these feelings occur, ask God to reveal to you your primary motivation for being a social networking junkee.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with social networking – unless it causes you to be more fixated on building your brand than on building the Kingdom of God.