Twitter: Why all Church Leadership Should Have One

In today’s day and age, everyone and their dog (literally) have a social media account of some sort. Twitter being one of the most widely used social media venue is one of many social media outlets that people use on a daily basis.

From sharing what people are reading online, to what they are doing in their lives – Twitter forms a bond outside of regular social interactions – it really allows people to get to know the ‘inside story’ of what people like and do not like. Getting to ‘peek’ into celebrities’ lives is something that Twitter is most popular for. Following businesses in hopes of scoring something for free on their next give away. It is really a place of interaction and bonding like we’ve never seen before online.

Being a young Christian leader and (future full time) minister as well as a social media addict has really opened my eyes as to how we as a body need to be able to see into our leadership’s lives, not in a creepy way, but in a way that is healthy, and good. Being able to share with my life-group guys what I am reading scripture that day, as well as posting pictures of my daily goings-on has really shown my friends, blog readers, and acquaintances what I am like when I am not with them. What I am up to, how I am spreading the fame of Christ even when I am not around them.

I think that we as a body need to harness the power of social media, especially Twitter. Being able to offer your church an ‘inside look’ to your life with your family – and being able to show your flock how you are living out the messages we so often tell others to follow, but so rarely do ourselves.

Now – all of this is fine and good, as long as we are smart as to what we are posting. We need to be wise, and use ALL THINGS that the Lord has given us to bring honor and glory to His name. We must watch what we post – not in a weird way – in order to bring the Lord glory in all our outlets. Being vulnerable and real is a good thing, but some things just shouldn’t be tweeted. I will leave this definition up to your own imagination.

Many pastors have already jumped on-board with this concept of harnessing social media to the good of their body. Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Frances Chan, and Matt Chandler (just to name a few) are frequent tweeters, and are awesome guys to follow. These guys use Twitter in a really great way, showing us that they are really living out the Gospel, and not just preaching it.

So, all this being said…Will you make a Twitter today? I hope you will – it really is a good thing. My warning is this: Be careful who you follow – there is some junk out there…but as long as you are cautious as to who you follow-back, you will be fine!

Lets redeem this social media outlet for the glory of Christ!
What are you waiting for? Lets make this happen!


36 thoughts on “Twitter: Why all Church Leadership Should Have One

  1. Twitter is an amazing tool, once you know how to use it. It took me a while after I created my account to really harness the benefits, but once I did, I didn’t look back. It really is an amazing tool!

  2. Its true, there is a lot of junk out there. I see twitter as a bunch of denominations thrown together into one pile and people have to discover which is good and which isn’t. It can sometimes be rough and a lot of people can’t handle it. I guess the best advice is to pray about it and get a level head because if you don’t you will fall…on your face…hard…and…it will hurt lol

  3. Meh.

    The problem with this argument is that while most would agree that transparency in leadership is necessary, I doubt the reasonable person would say when asked that the best way to be transparent with your congregation is to tweet more. Or even tweet at all.

    Twitter is an avenue of communication, not an indicator of someone’s heart. Like any social media, twitter is easily abused, misused, and misconstrued. Just ask John Piper about his Rob Bell tweets….

    Can it be a resource? Yes. Can it be an instrument of transparency? Perhaps (granted that it’s being used honestly) Can it be dangerous? Absolutely.

    1. I didn’t say it was the best way to be transparent in this blog post – I just said it is another great way for a pastor to be connected with those he or she does life with.
      I don’t think I ever made the claim that it is a avenue to someone’s heart – I just said it is a great tool.

      Pretty sure I also made the claim that we need to be careful with what we tweet – and to keep ourselves accountable with it. And John Piper’s tweet about Rob Bell is a prime example of my argument as well :)

      I agree with you that is can be dangerous – again I make that claim in this blog as well. It isn’t THE ONLY WAY to be transparent – just another way.
      Sorry if it came across that I was claiming that Twitter was somehow the only way that ministers could be transparent.

  4. Oh my gosh you tight pant wearing, goody freaking two shoes…and when i say tight pant wearing i am referring to the amount of starch you excessively use you little hippie. and I’m talking to this guy named chris. did you even read his blog??? can you read???

    “Being able to offer your church an ‘inside look’ to your life with your family – and being able to show your flock how you are living out the messages we so often tell others to follow, but so rarely do ourselves.”

    look play boy… it may or may not help people see more of what life is like in being a pastor. John wylie is not even arguing, he’s just throwing it out there…so the next time you wake up and decide to wear pants, choose shorts and go commando homeboy. would you like a bag for all that douche??

    1. Yikes, Eric. Watch your language man – try to keep things chill here. I am not a fan of these personal attacks dude.
      Thanks for the effort – but next time please be more considerate?

      1. yeaa I guess so.. just saying what u said.. that was kinda harsh what that dude said… like he could’ve said something about it nicer than he did..?

      2. yeaa I guess so.. just saying what u said.. that was kinda harsh what that dude said… like he could’ve said something about it nicer than he did..?

    1. aaaannnnnddddd chris’s comment wasn’t even well put together b/c wylie stated in his blog that it was an option for people and could possibly be a good idea….”sooo chill”

      ;)

      by the way, if everyone has their opinion, why are you hating on mine….

      1. I didn’t say I was hating on ur opinion.. I just said it was kinda harsh… so lets all build a bridge and get over this

  5. I think church leadership, and churches in general, embracing social media as a whole is a great thing. I think it does brings transparency, but a lot of church leaders, at least the older ones, will be less likely to tweet transparent things (in my opinion at least). I also think that if leadership embraces it, it could possibly bring some interaction with those in the church, especially the younger crowd, such as the college age/young adult like myself.

    Now, I don’t think it’s necessary for every church leader to embrace social media. I don’t expect those at more traditional churches to use social media. Maybe I’m stereotyping a little, but I say this because the typical/majority crowd who go to those sort of churches aren’t utilizing social media. So in that case, I don’t think the leaders would necessarily have to utilize it. All about knowing your audience, right? ;)

    As a side note, I once heard a 60 or 70 year old preacher at a traditional southern Baptist church talk about Twitter in a sermon one Sunday. Dude was FOR it. I was like “Old preacher dude say what? PREACH IT BROTHA!” or maybe…TWEET BROTHA, TWEET!

  6. yeah.. but about the original topic of this discussion…. :P I think twitter is a good thing to have for this kinda stuff.. and yes u do have to be careful with who u follow.. or else all u have is.. like u said.. a bunch of junk…but if u have the right people.. than it can be a very good and sometimes powerful thing to have handy

  7. I Think Twitter is great for all the reasons mentioned. I think its a harbinger of misuse for exactly the same reasons sometimes. I’ve only been on it a few weeks myself, but the diversity of commentary is amazing. I like being able to follow, on a day to day basis, some of my most admired writers and speakers. I also like the availability of posts from people at the opposite end of my beliefs just to see “how the other side thinks”. :-)

  8. Yikes, had I known that my disagreement with John’s post would have caused such and uproar I would have kept it to myself. Let me first point out a few things:

    1. Personal attacks against someone’s argument only discourage discussion. John is my friend. I specifically asked him before posting if he would be offended by my disagreement. I’m simply trying to encourage fruitful discussion on this blog, which I know is John’s desire. Attacking my skinny jeans and calling be a douche bag is no way to promote fruitful discussion.

    2. John, if all you are going for on this blog is commenters to +1 your posts and agree with exactly what you are saying, what good is it? I can see that you don’t agree with my post, but you certainly don’t have to defend the accusations against me or permit the blatant disrespect.

    3. I still maintain that exactly what I said initially is true. John’s initial argument is the source of the disagreement:
    ” Twitter forms a bond outside of regular social interactions – it really allows people to get to know the ‘inside story’ of what people like and do not like.”
    This is not true. Twitter is no different than a blog, a myspace, a Facebook page, a website, in that it only reflects what the user wants to be portrayed. If I want people to think I’m a super spiritual person, I can just post scriptures every day. If I’m actually a super shy person but am ashamed of that fact, I can tweet people to death and impersonate someone online that I am not in person. We all do this in some form or fashion. It’s no different than the mask many wear on a Sunday mornings to church in order to disguise what they are really feeling. And if you say that there are exceptions (truly honest people tweeting from their heart), then there is always the factor of text being misconstrued, misunderstood, and out of context (which twitter has a great knack for, given the character limit)

    John further argues: “I think that we as a body need to harness the power of social media, especially Twitter.”
    In my conversation to John before my post, I called it a mandate, which he quickly refuted. Perhaps a better word for this is “plea.” This entire post is a plea for leaders of the Church to start using twitter. (is it not?) This is again where I argue the logic is faulty. The reasoning for the plea is so that the church body can get an “inside look” at the church leader (according to the post). However, as I have just pointed out (and pointed out in my 1st post), Twitter is an avenue of communication, not an indicator of someone’s heart.

    You are not going to get an “inside look” at someone through Twitter. You’re going to get an inside look at someone through community with them. Perhaps Twitter can be used to aid in community. I recognized this possibility in my first post. But might I again warn of the significant dangers that Twitter faces. Not the dangers that John posted about. The dangers I’m talking about are misunderstanding, misconstrued tweets, out of context scriptures and comments, false masks, etc. None of these were mentioned in John’s post.

    And I digress. I’ve made my point 2 times now, and based on previous experience will undoubtedly reap blatant disrespect, name calling, and questions of my character. I’m sorry John, but I think this is where I have to check out of your blog. I don’t think I can support someone who permits and defends its subscribers when they act a fool and cause harm to others. It’s been nice keeping up with you, but this is where my support of your blog ends.

    1. 1) I agree that they discourage discussion. Eric was just being a troll – and I did NOT permit him to say those things. I told him to watch his language and such.
      2) That is not all I am going for – you can disagree all you want.
      3) I don’t see what you have against that statement – is it not true that if you like a blog post you will share it on twitter /your blog/ facebook? Is it not true that if you have a crummy experience in line at some grocery store you will tweet about it? I mean, some people use twitter and other networks differently – but Twitter was built around the idea of sharing information, and what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. Kind of makes me beg the question: Why do you have social media if you aren’t being social with it?
      3 cont) Most people in a church already have a congregation that knows them – and knows their heart at church…so having a twitter wouldn’t just be a front for them – it would be just as my quote that you pulled out says “(an) inside story of what people like and do not like’.

      I am just making a suggestion that church leadership should start getting on Twitter and embracing it – I am not saying it is the only avenue to share life with leadership and people in your church. But it is a great way. And it is more of a suggestion, not a plea. I like Twitter a lot – I’ve seen (and unfortunately posted) both sides of the spectrum…Tweets that I regret posting, and also tweets that I am glad I posted. I’ve seen tweets from other Christian Leaders that were hurtful – and distasteful…and that’s why I said ‘I will leave your imagination up to this one’ when I mentioned being careful with what we post. Going into detail was not needed – this is a blog, not a term paper.

      And my ‘argument’ has been the fact that it can AID community the whole time – I’ve said in replies that this is not the ONLY way to do life with leaders outside of church – but it is a great way to.
      And just so you know – I did not permit his actions…again. I did comment back letting him know that it isn’t cool…and to watch his language. I even let him know personal attacks are not welcome here. And I am sad to see the support of my blog going down with the comment of one careless subscriber.

  9. Great post, John. I think you make a great point about Twitter. I see that some of the discussion above has gotten heated, but if it wasn’t for social media my “social life” wouldn’t really exist. I’ve spent the last 2 years getting an MBA while work full time and being an involved husband and father. I don’t have time to go hang out with friends like I did in college. Facebook, Twitter and blogging provide that channel to communicate and stay plugged in to the lives of people I care about.

  10. John – don’t be afraid to have a strict comment policy (link to @Tentblogger’s) where you encourage healthy discussion, but prohibit personal attacks and offensive language. It is YOUR blog. You can delete comments if you have a policy in place.

    Keep up the good work.

  11. Just ask John Piper about his Rob Bell tweets…. Like any social media, twitter is easily abused, misused, and misconstrued. Don’t want this nightmare happening again. Yikes, Eric.

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