Twittering At Church

Last Sunday, amidst the chaos of the technological issues (if you want to know what I’m talking about, see here) I pulled out my phone while we were sitting during the message to update my Twittertwitter status.  My action was met with a bit of shock from the worship team members sitting on either side of me.  The idea of texting in church was apparently not a good idea to them – but is it so bad? I don’t think so!

It’s not uncommon for me to tweet (Twitter-speak for updating your Twitter status) during the message at church. Often, it’s a thought I’m having or a particularly good quote from the message that I want to share. My tweet from Sunday (that never did get posted because they threatened to take my phone away) was simply “The message must be right on the nose today because Satan is trying really hard to derail it!” While I definitely think texting to communicate with others during church is less than appropriate, tweeting about church can be a great witness tool.

I’m sure that when it comes to twitter, I know of only a hand-full of people at Journey who have accounts and quite possibly there are only two of us who regularly update and follow others. FacebookBUT there is another option that far more people already use and it’s becoming more and more twitter-like all the time: FACEBOOK. If you have a cell phone with texting and a Facebook account, you need to setup Facebook mobile. (Super easy instructions to set it up) It allows you to text to Facebook and update your status, as well as text pictures and videos to be uploaded too. It’s easy and doesn’t require you to have web capabilities on your phone.

Think about it this way: The average Facebook user has 120 friends. That is 120 people who you have an opportunity to share your faith with. Short of stopping everyone you see in a week, you’re not going to have the opportunity to share your faith with that many people. You’re status updates don’t need to become these fire and brimstone “turn or burn” messages – just share what you’re thinking, a scripture verse  or a quote from the message. Things like:

At church and the worship team just finished Mighty to Save – I love that song!

Pastor Bob just made a great point – “I believe that when Jesus comes back, the church with the most debt wins because they weren’t worried about themselves but about those they were called to reach.”

I have a number of friends on Facebook that I don’t know what their faith is like, or if it’s even there at all. I often wonder what they think when they see my status – and to be honest, I often have them in mind when I post them.  It’s even led to a couple of conversations about the topic – conversations that would have never happened if it weren’t for my more-than-occasional mentions of church.

Give Twittering or Facebooking during church (or bible study) a shot and see what kind of a witness you can be to your online friends. If you need some help or inspiration, look me up on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll be glad to help!

About Matthew Starner

Matthew Starner is pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they help people take their next step on their journey with Jesus.

18 Comments

  1. Well then if I update my status during church, I don't wanna hear CRAP from u LOL

  2. As long as it's about church, you won't!

  3. As long as it's about church, you won't!

  4. What if I say "ughh church is soo boring"LOL!!!!! jkjk

  5. Let me rephrase – as long as it's about Jesus, go for it.

  6. Let me rephrase – as long as it's about Jesus, go for it.

  7. And if you read the article, it's about using the opportunity to be a positive Christian witness to your friends, not critiquing the service.

  8. And if you read the article, it's about using the opportunity to be a positive Christian witness to your friends, not critiquing the service.

  9. or what if we say "the colors flying around the screen were too distracting"?

  10. Leanne Caspary Weidmayer

    well that changes everything then!

  11. definitely ouside the box — I like it!

  12. Leslie 'and'Mike Beuschel

    I will think about it, still not sure

  13. but couldn't you just do that AFTER church…and not during…like you said…you had the worship team members watching you…so…is it distracting them?!?! that's stuff we all need to think about….

  14. I agree with Becky. But then again, I don't have web capability on my phone, so it's not a temptation. I think After would be less distracting, while still getting the same message out.

  15. I will have to disagree with you on this one. Texting of any kind is distracting to those around you. That’s why they have commercials before movies saying don’t text, why texting isn’t allowed in classes, and why you generally don’t see people texting at church. If that’s not enough evidence, the reaction of your team mates should serve as proof as well.

    I’m not saying that Twitter and Facebook can’t be used as outreach tools. In fact, I do think that it’s a great idea to have status updates and tweets about church and your faith.

    HOWEVER, texting DURING church is the problem. If you’re distracting those around you, you’re taking the focus away from God. The person next to you may miss a part of the message that God was using to speak to them because they were wondering what/who you were texting. Not just that… YOU could miss something since you’re focused on typing.

    No one can tell me that waiting 30 minutes for the service to be over will make your tweet any less important. Instead of tweeting:

    “At church and the worship team just finished Mighty to Save – I love that song!”

    Try saying:

    “Just got done with church at Journey! The message REALLY spoke to me! My day is off to an AWESOME start!”

    I think that is MUCH more appropriate. You’re still sharing your faith with 120+ people, but you didn’t distract the people there with you.

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