Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Churches Use Twitter To Reach a Wider Audience 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-tell-it-on-the-internet dept.
In an attempt to reverse declining attendance figures, many American churches are starting to ask WWJD in 140 or fewer characters. Pastors at Westwinds Community Church in Michigan spent two weeks teaching their 900-member congregation how to use Twitter. 150 of them are now tweeting. Seattle's Mars Hill Church encourages its members to Twitter messages during services. The tweets appear on the church's official Twitter page. Kyle Firstenberg, the church's administrator, said,"It's a good way for them to tell their friends what church is about without their friends even coming in the building."

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Churches Use Twitter To Reach a Wider Audience

Comments Filter:
  • Bitwise *snore* half a minute ago from twitterfic.
  • Cyberpunk technotheology has been realized, apparently.
  • this is idiotic. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @02:26PM (#27835899) Homepage
    its neither news for nerds or stuff that matters... car dealers, the president, software companies and buddhists use twitter.

    if twitter had collaborated with jesus to produce an api through which church members could send prayers, that might be. or, if jesus intended to announce the rapture through tweet as stated in his microblog, i might care.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by orkybash (1013349)

      its neither news for nerds or stuff that matters...

      Apparently you didn't notice the "idle" tag...

  • by Taimat (944976) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @02:27PM (#27835931)
    I'm a Christian, and I'm a tech. (I don't use twitter - I don't see a point to it). I do however, understand that this is another way to let people know what your particular church is about - on the other hand, I think this can be really distracting for those in the congregation that are trying to listen to the message for the day. I heard about this last week on K-Love (National Christian radio station) and will be interesting to see how it works out. (I don't see this lasting long)
    • I agree that this is absolute nonsense. We've always worked to get people to turn their phones off and create fewer distractions, not more. What's the point of being there if you're just twittering the whole time? What's the point of twittering a tiny piece of the message if people can already get the full message online anyway?
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "I do however, understand that this is another way to let people know what your particular church is about"

      I think this is the natural evolution of the newsletter, from paper mailers to emails to twitters, but encouraging your congregation to do this during service is just tacky.

      I love the photo accompanying this article. Think the lady with the laptop is twittering or playing WoW?
  • Mars Hill (Score:2, Informative)

    Mars Hill has been known for its controversy and new ways of doing things. Mark Driscoll (the pastor) has alienated a lot of mainstream conservative pastors out there. It's not surprising that he encourages his congregation to use new trends to expand his influence. He is drawing in a lot of younger audiences than most more established churches. We will see how long that lasts and if it some day implodes on itself like most of these trendy ministries kinda do.
    • Mars Hill has been known for its controversy and new ways of doing things. Mark Driscoll (the pastor) has alienated a lot of mainstream conservative pastors out there. It's not surprising that he encourages his congregation to use new trends to expand his influence. He is drawing in a lot of younger audiences than most more established churches. We will see how long that lasts and if it some day implodes on itself like most of these trendy ministries kinda do.

      Usually in revelations of financial misdeeds or

  • OK.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @02:29PM (#27835959)
    I'm aware most of the people here probably don't practice a religion. I do. Troll on.

    That said, this is ridiculous; just because a technology exists for something, you don't have to use it for everything. If you're truly interested in bringing your friends to (your) religion, Twitter's not gonna do it. You have to actually bring them into the building and break that ice by showing them that, no, you're not snake-handlers speaking in tongues or crazy terrorists preaching jihad or whatever. Besides, the reduction of religious beliefs to sound bytes by believers and non-believers alike is one of the most damaging processes to those who are religious. This will just end up backfiring on them and making them look like fools.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I fear it already does. Tony Jones, one of the "bright young minds" behind this, is currently twittering the Didache to his facebook page, and ended up having to ask me in a private e-mail "not to respond so fast".

    • by brian0918 (638904)
      Nice name. CWRU took all my money. Oh, and you're supposed to called it Case now. :)
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      Besides, the reduction of religious beliefs to sound bytes by believers and non-believers alike is one of the most damaging processes to those who are religious.

      Actually, reading the whole bible, instead of cherry-picking, is one of the most damaging processes for those who are religious.

      It's just fucked up.

    • I'm aware most of the people here probably don't practice a religion. I do.

      Hey, me too. Except that my religion's rites involve two crack whores, all the booze that I can shoplift, and a bathtub full of cottage cheese.

      Troll on.

      No, troll, but I would tend to disagree with you. I don't use Twitter, but in my opinion, religions have always been adept at adopting new technologies to "spread their word." Look at the "televangelists" in the US for an example.

      And I could imagine that some folks who feel isolated by their faith, might take comfort in being able to send and receive quick messag

    • by wazzzup (172351)

      I'll go further and say the building doesn't matter. It will just be filled with people that cognitively acknowledge Jesus but have nothing to show for it but their weekly attendance to said building. Worthless.

      Simply show them a life of someone that practices Jesus' teachings and they might see that it's more than an antiquated fairy tale. Love those that are hard to love. If you've been blessed with abundance (in whatever wealth, love, etc.) then share it with the poor (in wealth, love, etc.). Recognize t

  • Its a shame (Score:4, Funny)

    by moniker127 (1290002) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @02:31PM (#27836007)
    We godless heathens dominate the internet. They're walking into a battle they cannot win.

    *Maniacal laughter*
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And what is left, when you take away the godless heathens, are orthodox people who can actually think and whose religion isn't opposed to rationality and science at every turn.

      • I believe that religion is inherently opposed to the scientific process. There is no mixing the two unless you make some pretty major concessions.

        For example, how can someone who believes in a creator of all things accept the law of conservation of mass? Some things are just incompatible.
        • I believe the scientific process and theism go hand in hand. On the other hand, atheists have to be inconsistent with the outworking of their atheism. To use your language, the atheist not only has to make concessions but has to capitulate.

          If you believe God orders and sustains the universe, what would be inconsistent with theism and science? Now inconsistent with science-ism? Yes.

          Now an atheist who assumes that we weren't put here for any particular reason should assume that we weren't designed for any par

          • I don't believe we were designed for any particular reason. However, I wish to investigate how the universe works, both for my own interest, and because experience shows that learning more about how the universe works lets us make more cool things.

            I have no reason to believe the laws of physics will stay the same. However, they seem to be staying the same, so I'll assume they will until I have a reason to think otherwise.

            I'm nice to people and help them, because experience tells me that tends to lead to

          • by Atzanteol (99067)
            Which gods is it you said must exist? Thor? Zeus? Ra?

            Being internally consistent is not the same as being "correct." Just because the universe doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean your made-up reasons for how it works are the right ones. Remember, having answers is not the same as having *good* answers.

        • Well, someone can think of it this way, the universe is just a gigantic game of Conway's game of life, but the laws were programmed by someone or something (an intelligent designer), who can alter the variables in the game when they see fit. Most of the time the game goes on, people live, people die, but occasional the creator kills off a few cells, or creates a few more, that alters the game.
          • I go one step further and put a limit on God. He can't alter the variables as he sees fit, they MUST fit the rules and causality consistently (even if, perhaps, we theorize a God that is outside of OUR time, and therefore isn't limited by time flowing the same direction we experience it in). I believe in a deterministic universe- but also that human beings preserve their own sense of free will because of their finite brain size that can't see all the variables all at once.

        • For example, how can someone who believes in a creator of all things accept the law of conservation of mass?
           
          As an inadequate human attempt to explain a rule set up by the given creator? And that without that rule, the universe would be quite different?

      • ALL religion is opposed to rationality.

        which religion does not claim some supernatural being that, well, has NEVER shown himself?

        if you are a religion, you have a deity (or plural). and I don't think there has been the tiniest shred of actual evidence to support ANY one's view of their god.

        therefore, to believe in things you can't possibly prove - by definition - is to be irrational.

        scientists who tend to believe in god have this weird duality to their mind. seems to be a flaw that lets them 'forgive' som

        • which religion does not claim some supernatural being that, well, has NEVER shown himself?

          No religion I'm aware of claims that. They all have either written or oral traditional claims of a God who *did* show himself.

          ALL religion is opposed to rationality.

          Incorrect- in fact, the current Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, gave a rather interesting speech on the topic right after he was elected Pope. You ought to remember, it was the one where he condemned certain sects of Islam for b [vatican.va]

          • the fact that you are deluded to think any god 'did' show himself means you already are beyond thinking critically about the subject.

            you are hooked and can't get out of that trap.

            sorry to be you. otoh, ignorance is bliss and you may actually be happier in your delusion than I am in the knowledge that its all a lie.

            it is all a lie. you just have been brainwashed into thinking the fairy tale is really true. sorry mate, but its not true. as much as we'd all want it to be, it just not. get over it.

            • the fact that you are deluded to think any god 'did' show himself means you already are beyond thinking critically about the subject.

              And the fact that you don't at least read and test written documentation mans that you are already accepting too narrow a definition of evidence.

              you are hooked and can't get out of that trap.

              I can say the same about you

              sorry to be you. otoh, ignorance is bliss and you may actually be happier in your delusion than I am in the kn

              • as is the fact of your apparent inability to find the [shift] key.

                ah, you run out of actual arguments so you attack the person.

                therefore, you have just lost the argument. and everyone can see that, too.

                have a nice day ;)

                • as is the fact of your apparent inability to find the [shift] key.

                  ah, you run out of actual arguments so you attack the person.

                  therefore, you have just lost the argument. and everyone can see that, too.

                  have a nice day ;)

                  Yeah, thanks for giving me some actual substance to attack in your other message, like the idea that the Book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century AD when we have a Qumran manuscript that has been carbon dated to 500 BCE with the same text.

                  • and you somehow think:

                    age == wisdom

                    ??

                    refute this, then, if the bible is 'so wise' beign so old.

                    the bible thinks the earth is flat:
                    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%204:8&version=9 [biblegateway.com];

                    the bible says that giants (??) were once on the earth:
                    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%206:4&version=9 [biblegateway.com];

                    Those who believe are able to handle snakes and drink any deadly poison without suffering harm.
                    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2016:17-18&version=9 [biblegateway.com];

                    shall I REALLY

                    • and you somehow think:

                      age == wisdom

                      Partially. To be more accurate, repeated experiments and additional observations bring more data and allow us to refine our theories and models to be closer to the truth.

                      refute this, then, if the bible is 'so wise' beign so old.

                      Nope, the Bible is a book, and therefore isn't wise. Wisdom requires thinking, which can only be accomplished by human beings. Books can only provide data, they can't interpret that data.

                      the bible

                    • the bible MOST CERTAINLY does claim to be the word of god.

                      ok, I'm done here. you won't change your views and I won't change mine. that was an assumed conclusion, anyway.

                      my final thought: the motivations of those in the religious field is a historical concept. one only has to look at the power structure of all religions to see that they were designed to control and scare primitive man.

                      some of us have seen thru this and 'won't be fooled again' ;)

                      I really wish you were right and there WAS/IS a god. how com

                    • the bible MOST CERTAINLY does claim to be the word of god.

                      Prove it. I gave you the quote where the Bible claims gives the title "The Word of God" to some sort of spiritual being, and you still claim that the Bible is the Word of God?

                      ok, I'm done here. you won't change your views and I won't change mine. that was an assumed conclusion, anyway.

                      Not by me it wasn't. In fact, I assumed you'd come up with something new at some point to challenge my world view- for only the unco

            • I believed exactly the same thing as you, in fact I could have written your post. I was 15 then and was convinced that I had everything figured out.

              I have since lived another 16 years; believe me son, when you grow up a little bit you'll realize that there are a LOT of shades between black and white and not only do you not know everything, but you will NEVER know even a tiny fraction of anything.

              There are things in this world that are beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Are they the work of God?

              • you're still very young. I have over 15 years on you, still.

                its a shame the mass delusion runs so deep.

                it is a form of mental impairment, to believe in spirits, ghosts and gods.

                but I do realize that its 'comforting' to believe in fairy tales. that's the main reason why talking about religion is usually off-limits; it invades peoples' comfort levels by challenging the very fabric that they've build their whole view of reality on.

                its very disturbing to learn that santa clause, easter bunny and the myth of j

                • you're still very young. I have over 15 years on you, still.

                  Too bad you've wasted those 46 years on fundamentalist Biblical atheism. Though I will give you this- you're more consistent in your beliefs than most fundamentalist Christians I deal with regularly.

                  it is a form of mental impairment, to believe in spirits, ghosts and gods.

                  And yet, well over 90% of humanity throughout history has done so. Why do you think THAT is?

                  but I do realize that its 'comforti

          • Or rather, they've been presented with evidence through personal experience that you refuse to admit is evidence.

            so, I'm either unable to 'receive' god's message or witness his existence or I'm refusing to?

            (laughing)

            typical avoidance reply. no, dude, I'm NOT trying to 'reject god'. if he's out there, he's been silent to me and that seems to make no sense at all (why would he be selective in how he 'talks' to?)

            this reasoning is a joke. its a twisted bit of thinking to try to make the other person feel 'u

            • so, I'm either unable to 'receive' god's message or witness his existence or I'm refusing to?

              No, that's not what I said. I said so far your definition of objective evidence is too narrow to admit the mounds of written documentation from thousands of different cultures. There's a difference. Being "unable to 'receive' god's message or witness his existence or I'm refusing to?" is being irrational. Having too narrow a definition of objective evidence is merely being too skeptical.

              • written documentation, as in written by men meant to control other men?

                is that what you submit as proof?

                wow.

                'documents' that have internal inconsistencies? like these, perhaps?

                http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theism/christianity/errancy.html [infidels.org]

                now that we are a bit more advanced than we were a few thousand years ago, we can STUDY the bible and realize it for what it is- a flawed document created by a team of MEN, over centuries, to control and scare fellow primitive man.

                there are sections in 'the bible'

                • written documentation, as in written by men meant to control other men?

                  No, written documentation as in "I wrote what I experienced and you can either believe it or not as you please". Later on, some other men DID choose to use such writings to control other men- but usually, that was not the intent of the original author.

                  is that what you submit as proof?

                  How is it any different than taking down a set of observations during an experiment in a laboratory and submitting THAT a

  • that I don't have to feel guilty for tweeting in church?

  • The best religions seem to have the simplest messages, messages that simple people can grasp and easily understand. So in this way short messages might be the ideal thing. And if a person sees that many of thier friends are having fun tweeting at church, they may want to go as well.

    But church is also about creating a sacred space, where people are together in a single faith. I think it is this that is hurting the traditional church. If we broadcast the service, and make the TV or radio an extension of

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      The best religions seem to have the simplest messages, messages that simple people can grasp and easily understand.

      Like "DO EXACTLY WHAT I TELL YOU, OR YOU'LL BURN!!!!!!"

      Beyond that, could you define "best". Hinduism and Catholicism have a rather large number of adherents, for instance, and I'd hardly call them simple.

  • Then an old lady was ushered down to my pew and she sat right IN IT!

  • WWJT (Score:4, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:02PM (#27836591)

    What would Jesus tweet?

  • 2 Weeks (Score:3, Funny)

    by endianx (1006895) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:06PM (#27836671)
    OMG LOL WTF?! IT TOOK THEM 2 WEEKS 2 LRN TO TWEET. WTF IS THAT? ONE DAY 2 LERN TWITTER AND THE REST TO LERN TO MAKE POASTS LIKE THIS ONE?!?!?!?1
    • by Taimat (944976)
      2 weeks, = 2 sundays = 2 days. 2 days to learn, and they probably assumed that not every single member was there on the first sunday.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by endianx (1006895)
        Oh, two Sundays. That makes more sense. In true Twitter fashion, my post was hastily constructed and poorly considered.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:21PM (#27836915)
    Since I don't believe in any god and it's particularly sad to see churches trying to spread misinformation more effectively, I'd like to approach this topic constructively and point towards and interesting lecture [youtube.com] I've seen lately that explains how and why religion evolved.
  • Jesus 2.0 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:45PM (#27837325) Homepage
    Does church now involve setting up torrents for The Passion of Christ?
  • What would Jesus do? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:16PM (#27837807) Journal

    As I recall, he would get tortured to death and then have his philosophy distorted for the purposes of power seekers for thousands of years afterwards.

    -jcr

  • it helps you.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

Working...