Et Al

The Pandora's Box of Twitter

I was a little cryptic in last night’s post about Church 2.0 and all that’s been rolling around in my head. I’m not going to give you a lot of background because that will take too long, and I want to problem solve in the here and now.

Twitter is the object of my affection, devotion, obsession right now. I use it personally and professionally. In the year or so I’ve tweeted, I’ve mostly used Twitter for posting blog updates and Facebook statuses, but in the last month or so, my use of Twitter as a networking and communicating tool has probably tripled. Maybe even quadrupled. And the more I use it, the more I see how it can be used at LifePoint.

Anthony Coppedge released his ebook The Reason Your Church Must Twitter earlier this year, and after paying the $5 to download it, I ate it up in one sitting. And then my head exploded.

In the context of the church, Twitter is excellent as a megaphone for tweeting announcements and other tidbits of information that need to get out fast. Yes, faster than email. Text message fast. In the context of LifePoint, I’m thinking multiple Twitter accounts: at least one for each key ministry, so young adults can get updates about young adult stuff and youth with youth stuff and parents with kid stuff. At LPC, that’s easily 7-10 Twitter accounts.

Twitter is also good for conversation, which is how I’ve been using it lately. If I can tell you what I need to say in 140 character or less, I’m tweeting you. Not emailing. Not texting. Not calling. I read yesterday about a church that had a “Twitter Sunday.” They encouraged the entire congregation to bring their laptops (or iPhones) and respond to the worship and sermon and service as it was happening. The tweets were displayed live on screens in the worship room. Definitely not sure if LPC is ready for that, but maybe we could start by live tweeting our services with the main ideas of the sermon and song titles and such. We could go one step further by encouraging people to ask questions about the sermon topic and feeding those to the pastor.

And speaking of the pastors (and other leadership), what a great way for them to build repoire with our people by conversing! I hear so often that people love that LifePoint is so friendly and that they’re looking for a smaller church where they can get to know everyone (including the pastor). But let’s face it, we’re at 300 people right now, and our leaders can’t have personal, one-on-one relationships with everyone. It’s just not possible, but Twitter can help.

I’m taking the worship service idea to staff meeting tomorrow. Chris is volunteering his time to live tweet during the 10:40 service since I teach the kiddos. Our lead pastor just got a BlackBerry, and I’m praying I can get him on the Twitter train.

So much to do. See how I’m overwhelmed? It’s like a Pandora’s box.  I need a plan. I guess my first task is getting the pastors on board. Then the worship experience tweeting. Then getting a few of our key leaders to tweet. Then I’ll need more web development help. Ugh. That’s another post…

P.S. And in case you’re not a Twitterer (you should be), did you know you can follow a tweeter on your cellphone without a Twitter account? Text ‘follow username’ (i.e. ‘follow sarahjoaustin’) to 40404, and you’ll get their updates. Standard text messaging rates apply, of course.

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4 thoughts on “The Pandora's Box of Twitter

  1. Wow, this is all really exciting! I love the idea of a Twitter Sunday and the displayed tweets. How cool.

    I like this philosophy: “If I can tell you what I need to say in 140 character or less, I’m tweeting you. Not emailing. Not texting. Not calling.” Now, to get more of the people I need to communicate with on Twitter…

    • Still hashing out a master plan for all this, so we’ll see what happens.

      As for my Tweeting philosophy, I feel liberated from email, and I love not having to type messages on my wonky phone.

  2. Sarah,

    How did your staff respond to the idea of twitter worship?

    It’s funny how God seems to be bringing this idea to many of us right now. Hoping to incorporate twitter and other social media more in our saturday night worship service.

    Let me know how you concept is coming along.

    Thanks
    Jon K
    Columbus, Ohio

    • Jon,
      Welcome to AFOM! The staff responded well to the worship/twitter idea. We tried it last Sunday (@lpc_worship), and it went well. My husband has to sit in during our second service to take production notes, so he did it for me. Once we establish the account, I’ll train up some others to tweet periodically, too.

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