This post is not about evangelism, but rather, the common disputes that occur in a church and how they are now more likely to spread to the Internet.
Ray Pritchard writes in crosswalk.com about local churches conducting disagreements on the world-wide-web. He makes some interesting points but for me point 10 seems to be the most relevant;
Perhaps the most unfortunate part is that these websites air dirty laundry that the rest of us have no way to evaluate. At least with denominational issues you are dealing with matters that impact hundreds or thousands of churches … And when these websites make accusations about what the pastor and other leaders said in a private conversation, the rest of us have no way to evaluate the charge because we have no way to supply the larger context.
Part of the problem I have, with how this subject is usually written about is that it is usually suggested that the churches should hide the disagreements that are occuring and present a unified appearance to the outside world.
But this seems somehow wrong. Christians are not perfect and neither is the church, obviously it would be better if everyone agreed and we all got on, but honesty is important and others will respect the church if it is honest.
As for church leaders, they just need to get on with their jobs, the Internet is here to stay and there is nothing that is going to change that. If leaders hold themselves open and accountable then false rumour will die so long as ordinary members of the church exercise skepicism in what they read online and refrain from gossip.