Being anonymous has its perks. You can say whatever you want and there is no way to trace it back to you. It allows you to sit back and judge without even knowing the person. This is huge when it comes to comments on a blog post or even more famously, YouTube. I read this article on how YouTube is going to help stop trolling (trolling is anonymously commenting on posts to start arguments or just to be straight up mean) and I thought it was super interesting and it got me thinking about youth ministry. (You can read the YouTube article HERE).
The question that came to mind when it comes to being anonymous and trolling was: How many times have I trolled another youth ministry or minister because I don’t know them? I see something they did, they are doing, who was speaking, what event they did, and judged because I don’t know them. I never once visited their ministry to check it out for myself. I never have talked to the pastor before. I don’t know anything about them yet I was passing judgement on them and talking about them to the people I work with?
It’s really easy to talk or pass judgement on someone or something you do not really know, when you are anonymous in your comments about them. It is so much harder to make such comments when you actually know them. If you read the article, you can make it so if you are anonymous you cannot make a comment unless you put a name to your account.
Let’s stop the anonymous youth pastor comments about other ministries or pastors and step out from behind our curtain of hiding. If you don’t know the pastor or if you never been to see what they do for yourself, you have no reason to say anything about them. Instead, lift them up with encouraging words and prayer. And if you do go visit, instead of judgment, ask why they do certain things. Create an avenue for a relationship and dialogue not judgement. Instead of talking about what you saw them doing, go out and go visit the ministry. Instead of stalking the pastor on social media and comparing, invite them to lunch to get to know them and humble yourself and you might even learn something and shoot, you might even be able to pass something onto them to help their ministry as well.
Stop being anonymous to the others who are doing what you are doing and put a real face to a name who has the same goal of reaching students for Christ.