It was with much interest Sunday that I read an article from Time Magazine regarding the rise in the use of Twitter during church services. In many instances, it’s even being pioneered by the pastors themselves.
I immediately sent a link of the Time article to my pastor (@petetackett) via Facebook to get his thoughts:
I think Twitter and Facebook plus other social networking tools will be useful to the church. I think you have to balance both the newness of it with the traditionalists in the church as well as the need for contemplative silence with the temptation to always be twittering. For us, the next step is figuring out how to make this possible without being distracting.
For years now, students have used their phones and pdas to communicate during church. Why not let them use them to communicate with the church instead of telling them to put them away? Hmm.
I think he’s dead-on. In essence, it’s coming whether the “church” likes it or not. The key will be to get in front of it and excercise some control over how it’s rolled out rather than waiting until it’s too late. Pastor Jon Swanson is a great example of this in action.
For churches that aren’t doing it already, I see many adding new positions in the coming months and years centered around nurturing relationships and growing their congregations via social media-related ministry. Present staff not trained and not already immersed in all aspects of social media will be ill-equipped to handle it otherwise.