There seems to be a lot of talk these days about Twitter and the Church. Last week Time magazine ( Twittering in Church, with the Pastor's O.K.) had a story about how churches are not only allowing, but integrating twitter within their Sunday morning worship services.
This Sunday, the Orlando Sentinel published a story about Twitter, Churches connect via social media: Flocks In for a tweet.
Yours truly was interviewed for that story to discuss how churches and faith based ministries are viewing, and utilizing social media with their ministry contexts.
One of the biggest challenges of this new medium for churches is that Twitter is not about just pushing out information (although Twitter can provide that use in a small measure), rather Twitter is about empowering people to be able to change and influence the message and be part of a conversation. When churches don't understand that, their use of this tool becomes just one big Twitter Fail! (this holds true just like businesses who don't understand this fundamental truth - see article HERE)
Used properly, Twitter can provide a variety of great opportunities to encourage participation within the church and engage people in a spiritual conversation. Illustrating that point, here is a quote from the Time article:
"If worship is about creating community, Twitter is an undeniably useful tool. The trick is to not let the chatter overshadow the need for quiet reflection that spirituality requires. At Westwinds, people can ask questions about the sermon that the pastors will answer later, or they can tweet in real time and hope another congregant offers insight. Some use Twitter as a note-taking tool. Often, it's pastor-directed, with McDonald preaching while Voelz taps out, "In what way do you feel the spirit of God moving within you? Now Discuss."Do you Twitter in your church? If so, how? Do you think there are some inherent concerns and cautions with using social media during worship?