Britain’s Methodist Council has urged Christians to adopt a positive attitude to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and the world of blogging.
They are encouraging church representatives in the creative use of new media, and are planning to publish guidelines to help them.
The discussion was central to the Methodist Council’s latest meeting, which finished yesterday (2 February). They agreed that online media provides important opportunities that Christians should not ignore, whilst also challenging them to behave with integrity in all their communication.
“How we relate to one another and to those outside the church is central to our calling as individual Christians and as a Church” said Toby Scott, the Methodist Church’s Director of Communications and Campaigns.
He said, “New media presents exciting opportunities for Christians, but it also challenges us to behave with integrity and respect as in all other spheres of engagement.”
The Council will consider further revisions to its new media guidelines in April before putting them before Methodist Conference, the denomination’s governing body, in June.
The other issue to dominate the Council's meeting was the nature of leadership and authority in the Church. They are considering a suggestion that the current structure of a President and Vice-President be replaced with a tripartite “Presidium” of one President and two co-Presidents. It will be up to the June conference to make a final decision.
Ken Howcroft, the Council’s Assistant Secretary, said that there is “a clear desire for a collaborative leadership, combining the skills and wisdom of our lay and ministerial members”.