Monday I am speaking to the NSRBA minster's meeting. I have been attending those meetings for 4 years, but usually keep my mouth shut. I finally feel like I have something to contribute so I asked to speak. I am speaking about technology and how churches can use the internet, and other technology to enhance and simplify their ministries. One of the technologies I plan to speak about is Twitter. I know that some of my readers are tired of hearing me talk about it, but I want to run my thoughts by my blog before I talk about it at the minster's meting. I would appreciate your feedback.
It is my belief that for most people in a church, the pastor is a bit of an unknown. This phenomenon has two causes. One is that people view the pastor as some sort of superman, not at all like them, with the same struggles and sins. The other is that in many churches the pastor changes so often that the people don't get a chance to know him. This goes both ways, because many pastors change churches often enough that they don't develop deep friendships within the church body.
What does this have to do with Twitter? I believe that Twitter is a great tool for fellowship (or community, if you prefer cool-church language;.) Why is Twitter great for fellowship? Because it allows people to see into your life, combine it with a camera phone and it enhances this.
One of the great things about Twtter is that you can keep up with a multitude of people at once and it takes almost no effort on your part. For example, I have a friend whom I haven't seen in almost 3 years, that I follow on twitter and I feel like I know as much about what goes on with him now as I did when we were riding to school together once a week.
If you are on Facebook you understand the power of the status update to keep you informed about people. Twitter is like the status report on steroids.
I follow about 50 people and I have absolutely no trouble keeping up with that number. I'm sure that somewhere around 200 people the ability to feel like you have a grip on everybody fails, but with some sort of client and just reading regularly it is easy to keep up with many people.
Recently, our church has even created a Twitter page. It contains announcements, web links and prayer requests. A very different use than a personal feed but still valid.
If you just want to test out Twitter and are not sure you are ready to commit and begin doing so yourself, you can simply subscribe to the RSS feed of any account.
Do you find Twitter to be a useful tool for fellowship?