Twitter for Churches

January 28, 2008 by

The mini-blog application Twitter seems to be the new shiny tech toy of late (which means it’s already old news). So what is Twitter? Basically you send out 140-character to updates to anyone following you via the web, text messages, Facebook, etc. Twitter prompts you with the question “What are you doing?”, which when taken literally can be incredibly inane. But the more creative folks can get interesting–especially trying to work within the 140-character limit (Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette fame has good, entertaining coverage of the Republican primaries).

It’s basically digestible, bite-size, temporary content.

So what’s the point?


Well, it’s yet another new technology medium that may or may not be worth trying out. Like a lot of the new technology trends, it may be in today and out tomorrow. But if you’re trying to reach a tech savvy crowd, it might be something to explore.

The main thing to keep in mind is that Twitter is just another medium. It could be a volunteer coordinator or an evangelism tool. Experiment and see what works:

  • Ask questions: Sermon research, who’s coming to an event, what people might be interested in, etc.
  • Share insights: Maybe it’s a quote from a sermon, maybe it’s a sudden insight from a Bible study.
  • Highlight content: Point people to blog posts, articles or resources on your church web site.
  • Hype events: Remind people of events and give a glimpse of what they’re missing.

If you’re interested in jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, it helps to check out a few folks already using it (like me, Terry Storch, Tony Morgan, Anne Jackson, Kem Meyer, etc.). And it’s definitely the kind of thing you need to try to really understand (even then you might not get it). It’s also community-driven, so if you try it by yourself it won’t be much fun (like blogging when no one’s reading).

Here’s a few more resources that might help:

Happy Twittering.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

13 Responses to “Twitter for Churches”

  • Shane
    January 28, 2008

    Now following…


  • Dustin
    January 28, 2008

    I’m now following everyone you listed. Here’s a list of some people (including myself) on Twitter from Mars Hill Church in Seattle
    @pastormark
    @dustindk
    @aadom
    @usefularts
    @BTS
    @jwendorf
    @jsorge


  • Brad Ruggles
    January 28, 2008

    I’ve went back and forth on the whole Twitter thing. I have a Twitter account and have been following a few people but I keep asking myself is this too obsessive? Do we really need to know what people are doing minute-by-minute?
    I’m not saying it’s wrong by any means. I just wonder how much information is too much? I’ll give it another week or so before I decide.
    Brad Ruggles
    http://www.bradruggles.com


  • Eric Atkins
    January 28, 2008

    Don’t look at Twitter as just a web app. Twitter extends beyond the browser.
    Look at Twitter as a cell phone SMS app.
    Imagine being able to send out SMS messages to your subscribers notifying them of events and gatherings. (BTW: Twitter has special “EVENT ACCOUNTS” that you can use if you mail them).
    Twitter is a way to connect churches to the cell phones of the congregation.
    Imagine using an application like TwitterFeed to catch RSS feeds and update Twitter at will. You could mash up several church apps and spit the results out to TwitterFeed –> Twitter –> congregation’s cell phone. Sojourn Huntsville’s web team is experimenting with this.
    I’m on twitter at http://twitter.com/ericatkins


  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    January 28, 2008

    Brad, it all depends on how you use twitter, just like any other medium. A blog can be just as obsessive if you use it to tell people what you’re doing every moment of every day.
    I usually ignore people who use Twitter like that.


  • Jason Curlee
    January 28, 2008

    I love twitter as it can be useful for a variety of things other than telling people you are about to go eat pizza a such and such place.
    I believe it really hasn’t been maximized yet.
    Hit me up twitter.com/jasoncurlee


  • ethan
    January 29, 2008

    just added everyone to following status on my twitter twitter.com/ethand
    in the end I think twitter is still a geek tool and a place for us geeks to hang out. Honestly I have more in common with some twitter friends whom I’ve never met than with people I know.
    Maybe I just get tired of explaining what a blog is. Twitter allows me to have niche friends :-)


  • Mark Brown
    January 30, 2008

    What about Twitter Prayer? Actually I see the potential for twitter to develop beyond just text to photos, audio, vid etc.. The trick will then be for each of us to manage our network so we aren’t inundated with data. Once this is done, what an amazing community building tool it could be!


  • Ken
    April 9, 2008

    Twitter is great – no doubt! There are companies like Mobile Verses (www.mobileverses.com) that provide mobile solutions specifically for churches. Text messaging, mobile sites, mobile storefronts) to communicate, engage, and raise money for churches. More and more churches are adopting a mobile strategy and very quickly look to move beyond text messaging once they become aware of what else is possible through the mobile phone.
    As smart phones become more prevalent there is a growing need to serve congregations better by making info more readily available. For example, a text message with a link to a mobile site can provide up to date in depth info on events, sermons, content for sale…even pastor blogs and discussion boards – accessible just about anywhere.


  • Kyle Chowning
    May 12, 2008

    Twitter, for business and ministry is not a must-have, just like the same with keeping up with friends, family, coworkers and the like. However, it has proven itself to be useful and engaging for those who have embraced it. Moreover, I’ve personally heard of people increasing traffic at their site/blog by up to 15% in a short amount of time due to their posts on Twitter.
    The point is, it’s not for everyone, but it is for some. Remember, marketing is about meeting people where they are at and giving them a compelling reason to respond. Twitter is one tool that will compel people to action.
    Check out 5 reasons why I believe twitter is a great app for today on my blog: http://snurl.com/28ghc
    Kyle Chowning
    twitter.com/chownage


  • Barbara Rozgonyi
    June 9, 2008

    Put together this resource: http://www.thetwitterguide.com
    Like your suggestions on how churches can use twitter. Will add this post to the guide.
    Feel free to follow me @wiredprworks on twitter.com.
    Barbara


  • Joe Miller
    July 4, 2008

    We had a rough go of using twitter in our service. I think everyone can learn from our mistake.


  • John At LifeWay
    February 3, 2009

    We may not be a church, but we are a ministry – LifeWay has several Twitter accounts these days. I run the one for LifeWay Student Ministry (@StudentMinistry). http://www.twitter.com/StudentMinistry



Leave a Reply

POST CATEGORIES:
Technology


 
Show CFCC Bar
Courageous storytellers welcome.
Hide the bar