What if your Lead Pastor asks for your facebook password?

April 5, 2012     Josh Read    

pastor wants my password

Do you have a facebook account? 

I was reading a post a few weeks ago on Mashable about facebook possibly suing employers who ask for your passwords.  You can see that article here.  Facebook isn’t going to go ahead and sue anyone just yet.  The whole topic of facebook and privacy is something we are going to hear more of in the coming years, especially, as facebook as a social network grows and continues to dominate a lot of our social networking time.

This got me thinking about Churches and how they are going to monitor employees online activity.  I do think that there needs to be accountability, but as young leaders move towards facebook as a way of communicating, accountability is going to become increasingly difficult.

Here is what to do if your Lead Pastor asks for your facebook account password: 

Ask him to friend you.  Parts of your account are personal.  You control the privacy settings.  The best way for your pastor to see what is going on is for him to friend you and then he can see what you are posting.  If your Lead Pastor isn’t very technological, friend him first.

Look at your staff policy.   I hope you have a staff policy.  If you don’t, then this is a great time to make one.  I doubt that your staff policy gives anyone power to access your facebook account.

Say NO!  Those are the words sometimes you need to say.  This would be one of those moments.  I don’t think your Lead Pastor has the right to access your information online.  This doesn’t have to be a confrontation.  You can tell him the reasons why your account is your account.

Live with integrity online.  Think about what you are posting!  Don’t just post anything that comes into your mind.  Think about it, and then post it.  Don’t be someone else online,  be you!  Show the students you work with how to be a Christian on facebook.

 

What would you do if your Lead Pastor asked for your facebook password? 

 

Categories: General
Comments

0 thoughts on “What if your Lead Pastor asks for your facebook password?”

  1. Shae

    I think that your personal account is just for that, personal interactions.  You should have a work account for dealing with youth and families that you work with and should have complete transparency with this account.  Give your Pastor or Youth Work Supervisor complete access to that account as it relates to your work and creates checks and balances for you.  It’s all about keep you and your youth safe.  Don’t use your personal account for youth work related interactions.  

    1. Ben Read

      Are you saying we should have two accounts? I don’t think we need two accounts, I think first off it would be ridiculous for a pastor to ask for his Youth Pastor’s Facebook password, either there is a major lack of trust there or the Sr. Pastor needs an education on how to get his own Facebook account. Secondly, Youth Pastors just need to be smart. Don’t be like a highschooler on Facebook, be like a pastor.

      1. Cooper Miller

         I agree. I believe that the way we act on facebook can actually be a testimony to students in a big way. We definitely should not have two accounts, nor should we even be asked to give out personal passwords.

  2. Shae

    I think that your personal account is just for that, personal interactions.  You should have a work account for dealing with youth and families that you work with and should have complete transparency with this account.  Give your Pastor or Youth Work Supervisor complete access to that account as it relates to your work and creates checks and balances for you.  It’s all about keep you and your youth safe.  Don’t use your personal account for youth work related interactions.  

    1. Ben Read

      Are you saying we should have two accounts? I don’t think we need two accounts, I think first off it would be ridiculous for a pastor to ask for his Youth Pastor’s Facebook password, either there is a major lack of trust there or the Sr. Pastor needs an education on how to get his own Facebook account. Secondly, Youth Pastors just need to be smart. Don’t be like a highschooler on Facebook, be like a pastor.

      1. Cooper Miller

         I agree. I believe that the way we act on facebook can actually be a testimony to students in a big way. We definitely should not have two accounts, nor should we even be asked to give out personal passwords.

  3. Kyle

    It’s interesting that my SR pastor actually encouraged me to have 2 accounts – 1 for work and 1 for personal. He is on Facebook fairly regularly and I find having 2 accounts works quite well. Not that I have anything to hide, but it allows me to haven’t boundaries on my personal life

    1. Cooper Miller

       My question is this – Would you want a student to have two accounts? One that he showed you and their parents, and then another for their personal lives.

      In the most non-condescending way I think it is almost setting a bad example for students.

      1. Ben Read

        I think this is a good way to think of it, I know some students who have two accounts and one they use to friend all of their church friends and parents, the other who knows whats going on. And agree with Tim below, if I tried making another account, all of my students would want to be friends with it, too, thus defeating the purpose. I already run 5 twitter accounts and 4 Facebook pages, I don’t need any more! 

  4. Kyle

    It’s interesting that my SR pastor actually encouraged me to have 2 accounts – 1 for work and 1 for personal. He is on Facebook fairly regularly and I find having 2 accounts works quite well. Not that I have anything to hide, but it allows me to haven’t boundaries on my personal life

    1. Cooper Miller

       My question is this – Would you want a student to have two accounts? One that he showed you and their parents, and then another for their personal lives.

      In the most non-condescending way I think it is almost setting a bad example for students.

      1. Ben Read

        I think this is a good way to think of it, I know some students who have two accounts and one they use to friend all of their church friends and parents, the other who knows whats going on. And agree with Tim below, if I tried making another account, all of my students would want to be friends with it, too, thus defeating the purpose. I already run 5 twitter accounts and 4 Facebook pages, I don’t need any more! 

  5. seventy8Productions

    My version of this is to give your password to someone who is your mentor. If the pastor is simply worried about accountability, point them to that mentor and ask that they leave it at that. Anything more is both unlawful and unethical.

    1. kolby milton

      I don’t think the employers or pastors are concerned about accountability.  They want control!  I am all for accountability, but having a password to check up goes too far.  Just because (insert random corporation) does it doesn’t mean that the church should.   

      1. seventy8Productions

         No doubt! But they need to watch themselves as a church. If they have my password and I put on Facebook that I killed someone, the church is now liable for what I wrote and could face consequences… Plus, Facebook could completely revoke the church’s rights to all access to their network.

  6. seventy8Productions

    My version of this is to give your password to someone who is your mentor. If the pastor is simply worried about accountability, point them to that mentor and ask that they leave it at that. Anything more is both unlawful and unethical.

    1. kolby milton

      I don’t think the employers or pastors are concerned about accountability.  They want control!  I am all for accountability, but having a password to check up goes too far.  Just because (insert random corporation) does it doesn’t mean that the church should.   

      1. seventy8Productions

         No doubt! But they need to watch themselves as a church. If they have my password and I put on Facebook that I killed someone, the church is now liable for what I wrote and could face consequences… Plus, Facebook could completely revoke the church’s rights to all access to their network.

  7. Shae

    Yes, I am indeed suggesting two different accounts.  I’m not suggesting that you act differently on one that you do on the other.  But you are not their friend.  As a professional, you should be acting in a friendly way, just as you have many roles (parent, teacher, mentor, etc) but you are not any one of those things.  I’m suggesting a place for young people to interact with you in an appropriate way.  They don’t need to see your friends, what you do in your free time, etc.  If you choose to share some of that with them fine, but you need some professional boundaries in your youth work.  

  8. ShaePepper

    Yes, I am indeed suggesting two different accounts.  I’m not suggesting that you act differently on one that you do on the other.  But you are not their friend.  As a professional, you should be acting in a friendly way, just as you have many roles (parent, teacher, mentor, etc) but you are not any one of those things.  I’m suggesting a place for young people to interact with you in an appropriate way.  They don’t need to see your friends, what you do in your free time, etc.  If you choose to share some of that with them fine, but you need some professional boundaries in your youth work.  

  9. Joe Lalonde

    While I love my pastor, I’d have a hard time giving him my password.

    Not because I’d be worried about what he would see me posting but because of security reasons. You never know if the password will be leaked(written on a piece of paper and lost or if you send it through an email it could be accessed in other ways).

    The more people who have your password, the easier it is for something to happen to your accounts. That is what concerns me.

  10. Joe Lalonde

    While I love my pastor, I’d have a hard time giving him my password.

    Not because I’d be worried about what he would see me posting but because of security reasons. You never know if the password will be leaked(written on a piece of paper and lost or if you send it through an email it could be accessed in other ways).

    The more people who have your password, the easier it is for something to happen to your accounts. That is what concerns me.

  11. Austin Mccann

    If my lead pastor asked me for my Facebook password I would respectfully say “no.” Not because I have something to hide, but because it’s my private account. I believe there should be a level of trust and accountability where the lead pastor shouldn’t have to ask for your password. As student pastors, we should live “above reproach” and not give him a reason to.

    1. kolby milton

      I agree with you Austin.  I love your statement, “As student pastors, we should live “above reproach” and not give him a reason to.”  This is so true.  I truly wonder how this will play out in the coming year.  This will become an issue at some point with Lead/Senior Pastors and staff teams. 

  12. Austin Mccann

    If my lead pastor asked me for my Facebook password I would respectfully say “no.” Not because I have something to hide, but because it’s my private account. I believe there should be a level of trust and accountability where the lead pastor shouldn’t have to ask for your password. As student pastors, we should live “above reproach” and not give him a reason to.

    1. kolby milton

      I agree with you Austin.  I love your statement, “As student pastors, we should live “above reproach” and not give him a reason to.”  This is so true.  I truly wonder how this will play out in the coming year.  This will become an issue at some point with Lead/Senior Pastors and staff teams. 

  13. Zach Gibson

    I would agree about not needing a second account, especially considering I have nothing to hide. My lead pastor and I are already Facebook friends, so it’s not an issue.

  14. Zach Gibson

    I would agree about not needing a second account, especially considering I have nothing to hide. My lead pastor and I are already Facebook friends, so it’s not an issue.

  15. Mikey Power

    This is a common issue which keeps being raised.

    You cannot give out your Facebook password or create 2 accounts because it breaks the terms of use for the website. This can result in legal action against yourself or your organisation.
    Friending young people is a dangerous business and should also be avoided at all costs, not only to protect the young people but ourselves.

    The best solution is to have a Facebook page or group where you can communicate in public with the young people and add another youth worker or your line manager to act as a witness to what occurs within the page. There is now an option on Facebook pages to accept inbox messages. This is the main problem with using a personal account because no one can see what is said here, on the pages where there are 2 or more admins… they can see the messages which have been sent and received.Hope this helps,Mikey!

  16. Mikey Power

    This is a common issue which keeps being raised.

    You cannot give out your Facebook password or create 2 accounts because it breaks the terms of use for the website. This can result in legal action against yourself or your organisation.
    Friending young people is a dangerous business and should also be avoided at all costs, not only to protect the young people but ourselves.

    The best solution is to have a Facebook page or group where you can communicate in public with the young people and add another youth worker or your line manager to act as a witness to what occurs within the page. There is now an option on Facebook pages to accept inbox messages. This is the main problem with using a personal account because no one can see what is said here, on the pages where there are 2 or more admins… they can see the messages which have been sent and received.Hope this helps,Mikey!

    1. Mikey Power

      Most people use Facebook as a way to connect with their friends and family. would you really want somebody else reading the potentially very private messages between you and your Friends & Family.

      This would be breaching the privacy of anybody who ever sends you a message as well. This can land you in a great heap of trouble. 

      and it is also against the terms of use of facebook so you are open to legal action and having your facebook account deleted.
      Like I said in a previous post”The best solution is to have a Facebook page or group where you can communicate in public with the young people and add another youth worker or your line manager to act as a witness to what occurs within the page. There is now an option on Facebook pages to accept inbox messages. “

    1. Mikey Power

      Most people use Facebook as a way to connect with their friends and family. would you really want somebody else reading the potentially very private messages between you and your Friends & Family.

      This would be breaching the privacy of anybody who ever sends you a message as well. This can land you in a great heap of trouble. 

      and it is also against the terms of use of facebook so you are open to legal action and having your facebook account deleted.
      Like I said in a previous post”The best solution is to have a Facebook page or group where you can communicate in public with the young people and add another youth worker or your line manager to act as a witness to what occurs within the page. There is now an option on Facebook pages to accept inbox messages. “

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