A friend of mine likes to say, “Sometimes the pastor’s main job is to be the grownup in the room.”
Sometimes the “room” you’re in is the Internet.
And sometimes we need to model healthy communication, despite the fact that we’re subject to the same fears, insecurities and foibles as anyone else. It’s easy to hide behind a screen.
Do you have rules and norms for social media and e-mail? Here’s one of mine. It’s not hard and fast but I’ve found it to be useful:
When you’re dealing with sensitive subjects, or the potential for hurt or angry feelings, “bump it up.”
In other words, however the person contacts you about an issue, you respond with a more direct mode of communication.
One level up should do it. If they send you a text message, you respond with a phone call. If they send an e-mail, pay them a visit.
What do you think? Share your rule or experience in the comments.