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Should Your Church Be On Twitter?

I had a discussion once with a staff member at a church who told me that they don’t use Twitter as a church because their congregants “aren’t really into Twitter.” If this is the case for you – or if you have tried to push the envelope of using Twitter at your church and have felt more push-back than understanding – read on.

I think that, in today’s day in age, it is becoming relevant for churches to utilize Twitter for a few reasons:

  1. It’s not just about those within the walls – it’s about those outside the walls: Let’s face it – people are tweeting all around your church. There stands a good chance that someone tweeted about the food or service at the last restaurant you were at – or simply tweeted to say they had been there like a virtual postcard. While we may be set on thinking that a Twitter account used by a church is only for use to be seen by church members, we fail to see it’s value as an effective evangelism tool. People can find tweets around them by searching a geographical area and, yes, people have been known to find a church to visit by finding a tweet from a Twitter-happy church. (Later this month – we will talk about ways to properly be a “twitter-happy” church)
  2. It can disseminate information to a congregation easily…and free!: By encouraging congregants to follow your Twitter account, you gain an opportunity to spread quick information at a moment’s notice. Have an urgent ministry need that arises? Tweet is out! (Respecting privacy, of course) Want to prepare people for worship on Sunday? Tweet out a central verse that will be used in the sermon and have them to pray and focus on it throughout the week.
  3. An active church Twitter account allows you the opportunity to know how to better pray for your community: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been standing face to face with someone and asked how everything was in their life – only to hear “Life is great! Everything is GREAT!” Yet, on Twitter, the same individual had just unleashed a series of tweets that echoed a different story. “They just walked out 150 technicians at @MYCOMPANY this week. Hope I’m not next”. Seeing the tweets of those who may follow the church gives the church leadership a unique opportunity to be able to pray for needs that are otherwise not voiced. More and more today, people are willing to give up candid portions of their life in 140 characters – but wouldn’t think to speak it when asked. These glimpses may be far and few between – but dynamic in a prayer life when they come!

Has your church embraced social media like Twitter? What best practices are you using? We’d love to hear your thoughts by joining in the discussion below!