MDS Facebook Covenant

Real People. Authentic Connections. Digital Spaces. 

Ministry in Digital Spaces exists to empower students and faculty to pursue the Kingdom of God in Digital Spaces. We live out that purpose through relationships, reconciliation, and prophetic imagination. We want our Facebook group to be a thriving diverse place where people from every university are welcome. To ensure the health of our group, we have provided a few guidelines for members, posts, and discussions.

1. Be positive.

People love hearing positive things in life and we love reading them online. We don’t want to become unhealthy by blocking out reality or negative situations, but we want to have a good balance between positive posts and critical statements.

2. Determine how you want to be perceived in the group.

Our words are the only point of contact many of us have with each other. We believe it is possible to know each other deeply even in this digital space, but because of the medium, our words become even more important.

3. Welcome guests.

As new people join the group, let’s take initiative in welcoming them (i.e. asking questions like where they live, what brought them to MDS, interests, etc.). Let’s commit to making sure no one feels like they are a stranger or unwelcomed.

4. Give extra grace.

If someone explodes from a post, take into account there may be a history with the issue. Consider asking how that person is doing, what is going on in their world, before doubling down on correction or proving your own point.

5. Ask questions rather than making statements.

Often times, miscommunication occurs when people use the same words but have different meanings. If something is unclear or upsetting, ask questions to ensure you are clearly understanding what someone has written. In doing so, we are better able to discern how to have healthy dialogue and hear the other person’s perspective.

6. Take your online presence seriously.

As an MDS Team (paid staff and volunteers), we are paying attention to your ideas, discussions, communication, and conflict resolution skills. Having digital character could potentially lead to a job with InterVarsity in MDS. Consider if you can and are willing to stand behind what you post next week, next month, next year.

7. Absolutely no trolling.

While we welcome dialogue and discussion, there is a zero tolerance policy on trolling people in the group. If conversations continue outside the group, wonderful! However, no one should ever feel as though they are receiving unwarranted private critique and correction. We take trolling very seriously. Examples of trolling would include single-word replies to heartfelt posts, constantly playing devil’s advocate while others are trying to genuinely come to an understanding, continued unwanted private messages, excessively disparaging remarks and arguments about how Facebook isn’t a good space for meaningful connection, ...

8. Have fun!

Enjoy your time in the Facebook group. Meet someone new, learn something new. We want you to bring your best because it brings out the best in all of us.

Let’s have some fun in this digital space!