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Should We Twitter In Church?

I asked the Ministry Best Practices readers about Twittering in Church (polls are still open) and the response was huge!

Of the people responding to date, just shy of 50% of you said that it is NOT a GOOD IDEA to Twitter in Church.

Where do I come down on this issue, you may be asking?

I am certainly a big fan of Twitter. And as you may have discovered from my many posts HERE, HERE and HERE and as well from this Public Radio interview I gave this week on social media and the church (click to play)...

...Twitter is a great tool for ministry and I think that it has a lot of great applications for the church.

But with that said, I think that there are some fundamental concerns with integrating Twitter regularly within Sunday morning worship. Here are a few thoughts....

- Worship is about ascribing "worth", praise, glory and honor to God our Daddy and creator...Twitter can feed our more narcissistic impulses and tendencies therefore taking our focus and eyes off of God and our worship of Him.

- As a commenter on my post said, "Given that brain research (see clearly demonstrates that there's no such thing as multitasking - you can only attend to one thing at a time-I think that fiddling with anything during worship takes your mind off the object of worship"

- Also, in worship as we listen to the Word of God being preached, we are to ask the Spirit to apply and transform our faith and practice. We are to reflect, ponder and contemplate on what we've just heard...that takes some time to do. Therefore my concern is that if we allow people to Twitter their "instant" reactions and thoughts to what they've just heard preached, we haven't allowed the necessary time for the work of the Spirit to apply the Word to our hearts and lives.

Now is your time to weigh you think my ideas and reasons are valid? Am I missing something? Sound off!


Why do we think sitting attentively in a pew listening to a sermon is only to be considered worship?

I couldn't agree with you more, but wouldn't judge someone who felt differently. I can't imagine sitting in a church service with a bunch of people pecking on their device. I would be distracted for sure. Distraction is the opposite of worship. Now if a church wanted to set aside a twitter account and have someone designated to do a twitter ministry in real time behind the scenes, I wouldn't object. We could blog or retweet the important notes later.


hmm. to some degree I think much of this argument is built upon a false premise to begin with, but I'll go with it and say - the little I know about learning and remembering stuff, is that the more senses involved, the better we remember. I think applies to twittering. The act of using one's brain to reword the thought in 140 characters would increase the chance of us remembering the message, and has the added bonus of getting other people in on the topic, and possibly further communication and conversation long after the preach is over. so simply for that reason I think it might be a valuable excercise.

I do understand the argument that if God is talking to us, it's kinda rude to tweet. but then, it's kinda rude to listen to the pastor preech, if God's trying to talk to us :D

My short summary - I think each to his own. if you find something that speaks to you, and tweeting is that much a part of your lifestyle, then where's the harm. If you think it's a distraction to you, and you're not getting what you want out of the meeting, then be a big boy, and close twitter down... and if you see someone else twittering or fiddling, then leave them be.

I see what you're saying but I think tweeting during worship can bring a sense of community as you see how others are processing their worship before God and contribute to that. I also think we need to recognize that people legitimately connect online just like in reality. I also think tweeting during church helps break down both the spectator approach to church and the clergy/laity divide.

I understand your point and I am sympathetic to wanting to build community - but my fear and concern is that the technology may take our eyes and focus from the Lord - which is why we are there to worship..and hear from him. It takes away from the art and discipline of listening.."be still and know that I am God". With Twitter, TV, Facebook..there is so much noise and is hard just to be still and listen to the Lord. Twitter in the church service would be a barrier to that.

My concern is that someone who is Twittering while the service is going on may be very distracting to those around them.

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