You can’t.

The man behind the screen sounds like the Wizard of Oz, am I right?

A person behind a screen is just that, behind a screen and not in front of your face. They will say whatever they want and probably do whatever they want without much regard for your feelings, let alone the reputation of your church.

Someone asked me if they should engage with a “negative” comment on their church’s Facebook page, and I said, “I would hide it.”

I feel like I should explain what “hiding” means on Facebook. When you own a Facebook page, instead of deleting a comment, you have the choice of “hiding” the comment. That means the comment will look like it’s still there to that user and their friends, but it will not be shown to anyone else. Hiding comments are a viable option on Facebook and the reason they were created.

Now, I’m sure that doesn’t seem like open and honest communication, but sometimes people just say stuff because they’re angry. Should you engage with it?

I think that’s up to you. If you think you can redeem the situation, then by all means, try to make the wrong right, but if you aren’t 100% sure, then I would hide it and go about your day. If they continually make negative comments, I would have a minister reach out to them. I would research and to see whether they have attended your church previously in the past as well.

Jesus said, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matt 10:14)

I know it’s a stretch to say, “Leave that Facebook comment and dust off your feet.” But sometimes, that’s just what you have to do—not everyone is going to agree with what you or what your church is doing either on Facebook or in real life.

Or you can just agree with T.I .when he said, “Never mind what haters say, ignore them ’til they fade away.”

This all depends on the comment and the person. Does the person have a history with the church? Is there a minister already in contact with that person? Or is the person a complete stranger? Does the person sound like they are just looking to start a fight?

These things will matter when deciding what to do. But for me and my house (ha, jokes), we will probably just hide the comment.

What do you do with negative comments? Hide them? Block the person? Engage them with a positive message? Connect them with a minister?

I’ve done all the above and would love to know what your church’s plan of attack is. Let me know in the comments.