How To Handle Trolls

Just because we are in ministry and are a part of a community that aims to do good, we aren’t excused from being confronted by those people who I call “trolls”. In fact, I would argue that we are even more susceptible to these interactions because we bare Jesus’s name {see John 16:33 and Matthew 5:11}.

So what are trolls? Trolls are discouragers. Trolls are critiques, twisters of words, and sly commenters that hate on your events, your words, your intentions. They are the ones that pop into a conversation with negativity and unnecessary contributions.

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What in the world are we supposed to do with these people? How do we react?

First, we love them.

Regardless of the comment or what they do or say, we are still called to love them as Christ does. This is hard to remember when they’re saying something negative about the ministry and the cause that you believe in so strongly, or when they take a stab at something you love, but we must always love.

Second, we remove the words of negativity.

There is some debate about whether you should delete the comments or leave them and respond with grace, but I stick to removing altogether. Removing the comment ends the conversation where it is and doesn’t allow for any further discussion that could be filled with unwholesome talk, on your part or theirs. You don’t want to allow the opportunity for your comment stream or your community’s newsfeed to be clogged up with unnecessary and unfruitful conversations.

If they continue to sneak back into conversations, I don’t believe it’s wrong to block them. That little blocking tool is a blessed thing when you’re fighting for the purity of your ministry. Don’t be afraid or feel bad for using it!

Monitoring your comments, mentions, timeline, and other aspects of your social networks are important as well, but don’t fret if you miss a bad comment or two, especially if you’re a large ministry with a lot going on in your social channels. Be as intentional as you can, but don’t down yourself if you miss a stray comment! On social media, there is a lot of noise. I think you’ll find, too, that your fans that believe in your ministry will address any comments you miss with love, or just ignore them because they know it’s inaccurate.

Third, we don’t become discouraged.

We’re all humans here, so I can be honest and say that we’re not going to catch every sly comment or post. I can also say that there will be times where we want to respond in a not-so-kind way to the remarks people post on our social channels. Choose truth and choose love in these circumstances. Remember that you are speaking on your networks for the Church (God’s people), not just for yourself. We must extend love to people and not give into the reaction they want us to have that we’re so easily susceptible to- anger.

Choose not to believe the negativity that may pop up on your feed every now and then. God has already won; choose to live in the victory He’s provided through His Son and don’t let the trolls steal your joy!

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Thank you for reading! Feel free to add your comments or ask questions in the box below!

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