Saturday, May 30, 2009

Twittering in Church

There's been a few reactions to Time Magazine's article entitled Twittering in Church, with the Pastor's OK. The article explains how some churches in the US are encouraging their members to twitter during the worship service. By doing this, some pastors agree that it creates a healthy level of community as well as stimulate thought around a specific message that is being preached.

Will Mancini, author and church vision extraordinaire, weighs in here about how he agrees with the usefulness of Twitter in church as well. I know Will through my roommate Roy and between the two of them, they helped me see the usefulness of Twitter in general.

On the other side of response to this article, Josh Harris wrote a blog post of his own that includes six reasons why he would not encourage his people to twitter during the services. Here are those reasons, briefly stated:
1. Playing with my iPhone (or cell phone or Blackberry) during the sermon will likely distract me.

2. Even if I didn't look at anything else, the mere act of "tweeting" some quote or question or thought from the sermon would be several minutes in which I wasn't actively listening to the sermon.

3. The most important thing I can do while I'm sitting under the preaching of God's word is to listen to what God is saying to me. I need to actively engage my heart and mind to receive. Twitter, takes the focus off of hearing and receiving and and makes it broadcasting and sharing.

4. I think we all need to ask what our example says to other people we're worshiping alongside. Can a person look at me during the worship and see from the way I sit, listen and engage that the Bible is worthy of honor, that preaching is valuable?

5. Just because something is incredibly popular in culture doesn't mean we have to accommodate it in our worship...When the church gathers and the Word of God is opened, God himself is speaking again. Everybody else can shut up. Lost people in this world don't need to see that we're current with the latest trend, they need to hear God's unchanging truth. They need to understand that God's word makes a demand on their life.

6. You can tweet about the Sunday service after church.
John Piper also adds to the discussion here. His basic thoughts are:
"...when you are in corporate worship, Worship! There is a difference between communion with God and commenting on communion with God. "
Taking all these thoughts into consideration, I probably will be less likely to use Twitter during a worship service. I can easily see how it can be a distraction for myself as well as for others as I type on my phone during someone preaching God's Word. What do you think about all this?


  1. Saw the article. Good thoughts. All I could think about was the guy who was video taping with his digital camera at the last Passion City Church gathering -- talk about a distraction!

  2. Anonymous7:31 AM

    I agree with Josh's and John's point. You should listen intently in the worship service without any distractions. You can't listen if you are typing messages.
    Afterwards, you can get with your friends and discuss the sermon. Larry W.

  3. I vote with Harris on this one...but I'm a crusty curmudgeon, as we all know.