5 Reasons To Twitter During Church

 

I know there are some varying opinions about texting and utilizing social media during church.  I actually use my YouVersion Bible app. on my iPhone during church and I have also been known to Twitter during a church experience/service.

I think individuals should Twitter while they are in church and here are 5 Reasons Why.

5 Reasons To Twitter During Church

  • 1. You have the opportunity to be a real-time extension of your pastor’s voice while he/she is communicating God’s word.
  • 2. If the pastor shares something that moves you, inspires you or changes your life; there is a good chance it will have the same impact on the lives of your followers as well.
  • 3. When Jesus said: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel… “All The World” applies to the Internet world, as well as the TwitterWorld.  Do your part by going into all the TwitterWorld, tweeting the Good News.
  • 4. You will have a stored database of your compelling thoughts and notes, from your favorite sermons.
  • 5. You can spare a couple of minutes of (SAD) Sermon Attention Deficit during most sermons.  It’s better use of your time Twittering great thoughts than drawing on the back of offering envelopes.

    God’s Omnipresence applies to Twitter as well…  Get Your Tweet On!

    Should people Twitter in Church?  Why or Why Not?  Add to this list, share your thoughts!

    • GREAT post! Too many people look at twitter as a waste of time, or something you definitely shouldn’t do during church. Thanks for pointing out the good ways to use a great tool.

    • Lulu Scott

      But can’t you write them down in your notes and then Twitter them later? It can be a distraction for some people to see the light from the phone. If you write them and Twitter them later, your still sharing your thought from the sermon, but your also not distracting others around you.

    • I Twitter, blog, and/or Facebook during church. I agree with your five points. technology is a great tool that we can use as leverage in contemporary ministry. It takes radical new approaches to ministry to reach a radically different world. If people would pay attention to what’s being said by the speaker, they will not get distracted by you doing anything. It’s legalistic thinking that hinders and restricts. Christ is liberating as Paul says in Romans (I’m paraphrasing) “Let no man call what you deem good as evil!” Keep casting your net for Christ!

    • I would if I could actually text fast enough. LOL

    • Scott Williams

      John- No problem… #FistBump and thanks for the comment!
      LuLu- That’s a fair question; however I read my Bible and take notes on my iPhone. I persoanlly think using the phone is less distracting than paper, notes, bulletins, purses, pens and writing. If you use the internet campus hashtag people can join the experience real time…
      Heath85-

      It’s legalistic thinking that hinders and restricts. Christ is liberating as Paul says in Romans (I’m paraphrasing) “Let no man call what you deem good as evil!” Keep casting your net for Christ!

      Well said!
      Cyndi- Just share one word! LOL 🙂 You should know what your pastor is gonna say before he gets up to speak! He is your husband! LOL

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    • Scott-
      I think that you hit it exactly right. I spent the service today twittering the message we received from our Worship minister (He preached this week), and felt a little more connected to participating in the Great Commission!

      #fistbump and praise, friend!

    • twitter definitely broadcasts our heart & vision beyond the walls of our church… in fact, ironically, most of the people in our church don’t twitter, blog or facebook (we’re in the inner-city) but through these tools we’re reaching beyond our own community. it raises support of every kind: prayer, finance & LOVE!

      … yes, I love technology but not as much as you you see …

    • Great post and great insight on using twitter during services. I have been known to do it and incorperate a hastag so that I was able to go back through and compile a blog post in more depth about what God was saying to me during the services. However there is one question that I have.

      How much is too much? Is there a way to tell when it is just becoming to much noise in the social networking world? Is there a help or insight that you can give on how many times and in what intervals it is best to update so that it is not a distraction to my followers in having to go through a mass number of my tweets in order to see what their other tweeps are talking about?

      Great Post and keep doing what you are doing.

    • I’m on church staff and I twitter all the time during the services. It’s a great way to connect people with what is happening and what’s being said. To @Lulu’s point, I do think you need to be sensitive to being a distraction to others.

    • How true! It’s a win-win for all parties involved. Believers and non-believers alike.

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    • I love twittering during church! Great Article!

      For those concerned with distraction, I think you need to know the context. If people are twittering about the party last night or what’s for lunch, then I am not sure it adds value. But if its an extension of what God is doing there, then get er done!

      Obviously,we can’t control what people tweet when, but the culture of your church will be by design or by default. What can you do o design a positive social media element in your church culture?

    • Mike

      Scott,

      You wrote: “I persoanlly think using the phone is less distracting than paper, notes, bulletins, purses, pens and writing.”

      Is this in the context of sitting in a church service? If so, let’s assume a handful of your twitter contacts are in other churches at the same time sending you updates. The potential for distraction is much higher here if you’re so interested in keeping up real-time with what everyone is sending you via tweets. Such a distraction is impossible with pen and paper.

      However, to each their own, and regardless, pay attention to the preacher in front of you!!! If he is worth his salt, you owe it to God, yourself, and those around you.

    • Sean

      Hmm… while yes, Twitter should be used for the Gospel, tweeting during church might not be the best way to do that. Being in Church is more than just absorbing and sharing what the pastor is saying…

      Here is the dissenting opinion, put better than I could:
      http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1828_More_on_Not_Using_Twitter_During_Worship_Services/
      http://www.joshharris.com/2009/05/should_we_use_twitter_during_c.php

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    • RyanBurk

      I’d say I agree with the way Piper puts it in the article posted above.

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    • Scott,

      I am a big proponent of Social Media and it’s use within the church…but when it comes to our corporate worship time…I am driven more by my theological reflections of worship rather than merely the innovative nature of this medium. Therefore I must admit that I have some concerns with encouraging it’s use during corporate worship time and therefore I have urged caution.

      At the risk of being redundant, I’ve had some reflections here on my blog: http://www.ministrybestpractices.com/2009/05/should-we-twitter-in-church.html

      I do appreciate your reflections and thoughts on this issue and I will be the first to admit that I don’t have this all figured out..

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    • Wow, tough one huh. While I do think twitter is an amazing tool that CAN & IS being used to spread the gospel; I personally think twitter in church [for me] is a distraction (to me and those around me) as well as a disrespect to my Pastor. And I’m at a sattelite campus.

    • Oh, PS: When I have sent a tweet or two on a Sunday, it’s only been while serving [during transitions of course ;)]

    • I think it’s different for different settings. I wouldn’t look at my phone to read an incoming message or text or twitter or anything because usually my pastor is about 20 feet in front of me. I would consider that a distraction not only to the people sitting around me but to him. (I might feel different when it’s recorded or satellite, but that really raises issues about people’s level of engagement in those experiences if the rules are different. But that’s another post entirely.)

      Also, if I were going to pull a relevant verse, I would choose one of Paul’s about not causing others to stumble or not setting up an offense. I’d rather evangelize or take notes in a way that may not be my personal favorite but won’t bother a new believer, a guest, or even a judgemental old school believer.

    • Rebecca

      Great post and question, Scott. I personally write down my thoughts and then twitter after the experience. I find that having my phone out and the light lit is a distraction to those around me, especially the 12 yr old sitting next to me during the experience. Since the auditorium is generally dark, the glow of a phone is definitely noticeable and a distraction. Since I don’t know the spiritual status of those around me and who has ADD, I would hate to think they missed out on something that could be life changing, just because I felt the need to twitter my thought(s) during the corporate worship/experience time.

      (Just so you know, I sit up front because I can be easily distracted during the service).

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    • swissbeat

      Great post, living in the 21st Century. Twittering in church is like sharing the Gospel. I think one needs a balance of Twitter thoughts. How many? One can be so eager and make spelling mistakes and needs to correct. Is that a distraction.

      Is paper and pen outdated?

      Not everybody has access to Twitter in church as yet. I know the numbers are on the increase.

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    • MichaelB

      Maybe you should follow this up with twittering during service etiquette.

      For example turn your screen back light down so it doesn’t look like your running your flashlight app and lighting up everyone within 10 feet of you.

      Turn off your sound so we can actually focus on the message and not your key clicking feedback.

      There is a start of my list.

    • I do the same thing during church as well. My wife however is constantly elbowing me when she sees me doing it.

    • tam

      yup. totally agree. ive seen a few people get hassled for doing so – from the same people who were chatting with the person next to them, asking them for lotion and gum.

      great list!!

    • (Name edited by blog author) F@#$ALLofYOU

      Are you kiddin me??? Using the internet and social netowkring sites during CHURCH?! What the (edit) is wrong with you people?? I know it’s the year 2009 but come ON! Our parents wouldnt have even DREAMED of such a ridiculous behavior…

      Jesus and our lord Heavenly Father don’t want us to TWEET our random stupid 140 character thoughts while we’re in HIS HOUSE to worhship and glorify his name!!! Are you kidding?! How can you possibly interpret ANYWHERE in the Bible that God would want us “social networking” in his House!??? You’re all a bunch of hell-ridden reject loser idiots… Good luck in your neo-centric tech-savvy age of communication!! LOL!!

    • God’s Overflow

      Wow… so much anger in your response above…

      If you’re spreading the word of the Gospel of Christ, it doesn’t matter where you do it… as long as you do it! Tell me where in the Bible it says NOT to use social network idioms to spread the word of God… We have to adapt to today’s society and keep up with modern technology in order to reach out to the public. If God calls me to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word, which he is, I’m going to use it… if someone next to me asks me not to use my cell phone, then out of respect, I will not use it if it’s disturbing or distracting them.

      If someone is using Twitter for the sake of using it for their own purposes (updating their plans for the night, random thoughts not having to do with church), and not of the Lord, then I agree… at church, we are to pay attention to the Lord, worship the Lord, and learn from the sermon.

      Looking at your response, you may want to read Ephesians 4:29, which says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impact grace to the hearers.”

      How is what you just said edifying anyone or anything? Is that giving grace to a group of people that you may not agree is doing things the way you feel the Lord would want it?

      You’re throwing out anger and curse words everywhere, and that’s definitely not giving glory to God’s name. You’re telling us how we should be glorifying His name and worshiping His name, and yet, you’re doing the exact opposite…

    • I turn all electronic devices off when I’m in worship. I don’t see how I could focus on something as complex and incomprehensible as the Trinity while I’m typing.

      The idea of getting the message (of the Gospel) out is good, but during worship isn’t the time. We have the rest of the week outside church to do that. That’s the one time we should be focused on the technologylessness of eternity as opposed to the hip, cool devices of here and now.

      Here’s a teensy bit-related stuff I wrote on the subject:

      http://jeffholton.com/examiner/internet_church

    • God’s Overflow

      I see your point, Jeff… but, if someone chooses to glorify God’s name by retweeting something that everyone could learn from, even if that’s at church, you can’t blame them… especially if God impresses on them that He wants them to.

      He’s not necessarily talking about tweeting WHILE in the middle of worship… I agree, you’re not giving your all to God in the middle of singing/praising… but if, during the message, they choose to do so, I see nothing wrong with that.

      Again, we have to keep up on modern technology and continue to reach people where they are at so God can take them to where He wants them to be.

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    • As a person who helps companies with social media for a living all I can say is AMEN. People thought the TELEPHONE wouldn’t be useful when it was invented… I feel the same way about Twitter. Let’s not run from something just because it’s new and limited to 140 characters. @andytraub

    • I agree. We have Twittered the points of the messages on Sundays. Many of our people are involved in law enforcement and have to work on Sundays while service is happening. This way they can still feel connected while they are keeping us safe. Plus, it keeps people from sleeping while I am preaching!

    • I did send a tweet once during church when a bat starting flying through the sanctuary of the country church we were visiting….

      I would like to use twitter more for digesting the message and hearing other people’s take on it….but the one thing that keeps me is the fact that it will appear to many that I’m actually just surfing the internet or checking my email. You might say I’m worried about my appearance, but I think I’m also concerned about setting a bad example. Lame? maybe…..

    • Great thoughts. I may start tweeting in church… with a purpose, not because I’ve preached this sermon before 🙂

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    • jimmy paravane

      believe or not, I disagree with F@#$ALLofYOU. just a modern version of eating of the unclean when obedience is involved.

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    • Scott Williams

      This post has a life of it’s own… the comments continue to roll in! Thanks for all of the comments and links!

    • I Like Piper

      I disagree w/ you and I like John Piper… Piper Disagrees and So Do I!

    • I would tend to agree more with Piper and Harris on this. I feel Tweeting during the sermon can be done, but it should be done by the church. They can have someone tweeting from the back or another room.

      If members of the congregation are all tweeting, it is certainly a distraction to those around them. Save it for after church. It’s also distracting for the individual. I agree with the idea of being in corporate worship while IN corporate worship. Maybe many are better than me, but if I’m tweeting, I’m not listening and absorbing.

      Go ahead and spread the Word via Twitter…just do so after church.

    • Scott Williams

      Coachfonz- I am able to do both and many of the people at my church are reading their Bible and taking notes on their phones via YouVersion as we encourage them to do. I read a tweet from Pastor Steven Furtick and he said this “Preaching recently I noticed the crowd was too busy tweeting to verbally respond. Click clack is the new amen.”

      I don’t think either opinion is right or wrong, just a matter of personal opinion.

    • agnew726

      I never thought about this. Most people are not tweeting the sermon though. Maybe I will suggest it.

    • Zee

      my five cents of thoughts…

      i don’t twitter at Church during services (even though i do have an iPod and we have wi-fi at Church) simply because that is only a distraction to me. i tried, but it’s the same as with translating the sermon to my friends – i translate one idea and a few more are already being talked about and then i am left trying to piece it all together knowing that my friends rely on my translation to understand the sermon. if i do translate without really thinking about the ideas, but merely translating the words, then i end up not having a clue what the sermon was about (and having to ask my friends to whom i was translating).

      social networking is great, but… umm… if you’re talking with a friend of yours, face-to-face, and he says something really good… do you tell him “wait a minute, i’ll tweet it, because i want everyone to know how great and smart you are?” and leave your friend standing there in front of you waiting until you finish twittering?

      *shrug* that’s what i think about twittering during Church service. it’s God we’re spending time with.

      IMHO.

    • wwewings

      I disagree with the idea that tweeting is appropriate during service. Number one– I think that it is disrespectful to the person ministering and most of all I think that it is not showing reverence to what is taking place in the house. However, if there is nothing worth listening to that’s coming from the pulpit or if the church is more social oriented then, there is no loss if you tweet, talk on the phone, text msg., do homework, office work, do your nails etc.!!!! There’s probley not much spiritual going to take place anyway. Just saying, what has happened to mere respect for the House of God and why we are instructed to come together> BTW, I already know and understand that we are the temple!! And, no, I am not religious and out of connection with technology. I love and use it all, but at the appropriate time and place.
      Thanks,
      Shelia Welch

    • I prefer not to use twitter or cellphone during Church,as i believe that is the time when all the body,thoughts,and soul are for worshiping JESUS as our way to say Thank YOU (i know we do this all the time but in church are diff, because involving other people too) and mostly we have “PARTY” with HIM during Church and that’s why obviously i cant tweet during Church.

      I like your books “God’s Eye View” !

      (^_^)

    • oops! i thought this is Tommy Tenney’s blog re: “God’s eye view” book, sorry…. (^^,)

    • Thx. for all the comments and opinions, they just keep rolling in!

      • sthomas

        1)It’s not a congregants job to be an extension of the pastor’s voice while ‘worshiping’ while sitting in the pew. 2) The chances that something the pastor ‘shares’ will ‘change your life’ while in the pew at that time are very slim… & slimmer that it will change the life of the congregant’s ‘followers’. 3) There is a time & place to reach out into ‘twitterworld’ that doesn’t include the worship service. 4) You can put your compelling thoughts in twitterland anytime, why during the worship of God/His word by His people? 5) Drawing on envelopes? Really? I’m not even going there. I found 5 reasons why NOT to twitter during the worship of God… at the top of this page!

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