Ministry / Theology / July 5, 2011

Pastors and the Humblebrag

A while back this article by Harrison Wittels was posted on www.grantland.com about the “humblebrag”. A humblebrag is defined by Wittels as “basically a specific type of bragging which masks the brag in a faux-humble guise. The false humility allows the offender to boast their “achievements” without any sense of shame or guilt.”
This got me to thinking. You know who does this a lot? Pastors. On Twitter. I suppose it’s true of many Christians, but I especially see it from pastors.
I suspect many pastors don’t realize that what they’re doing is humble bragging. They may just be genuinely thanking a congregant for his praise of a sermon or for giving him an opportunity to pray for a certain request. But it often doesn’t come across that way.
Publicly announcing your praying habits or retweeting appreciation for your preaching and writing looks self-congratulatory.
Pastors, if you wouldn’t say it from the pulpit don’t say it on Twitter. Furthermore, if you would say it from the pulpit but with context and clarification, don’t say it on twitter. 140 characters is plenty of room to come across badly, but not nearly enough to qualify a statement. Twitter is ideal for sharing information and inspiring thought, but don’t use it to publicly pat yourself on the back.



3 Comments

Jul 05, 2011

Twitter is also a popular place for name-dropping.


Jul 05, 2011

Thankfully I never use social media to air out all my great qualities or drop names. In fact RC Sproul just the other day was telling me how humble I am after I preached an amazing sermon. :)


Nov 08, 2011

Well said! Back when Facebook made more of a fuss about Facebook Groups than they presently do, I was seriously thinking of starting one against Facebook bragging. As a 50-something pastor, I know that some of my pastoral colleagues are the worst offenders, with statuses (stati?) that casually refer to their own life work as “the best church in the world.” Thanks for going to print on this (sadly) occupational hazard.



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