Thou Shall Twitter in Church

Thou Shall Twitter in Church

April 28, 2010 by

“Thou Shall Not Twitter in Church.” Says who?!

I haven’t seen that anywhere in the Bible. But I have seen Twitter in the Bible: “Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter…” (Isaiah 38:14 NAS).

In all seriousness, there are many people who believe you shouldn’t tweet in church. As a pastor, I would say, “Get Your Tweet On!” As a matter of fact, I say “Tweet and tweet often!”

Many times “church people” can look at a particular methodology or technology as a negative thing. Technology is basically neutral; it’s what you do with it that allows it to have positive or negative implications. I know there are some varying opinions about texting and utilizing social media during church. Personally, I use the YouVersion Bible app on my iPhone during church and it has this great option of sharing scripture instantly with the Twitter world. Not only can you share scripture with YouVersion, but also any person sitting in any church service around the globe can share thoughts, points and notes from sermons as they are happening.

Today, we live in more shared world than ever as information access and connectedness just happens. The beauty of this world is that people can engage with God, engage with their pastor and share pieces of those engagement with the world, all at the same time. There are entire real, living, breathing online church services where online congregants share information throughout their service. These services are just as real and God encountering as a physical building. Again, I say “Tweet and tweet often!”

Here are 5 Reasons To Twitter During Church:

  • 1. You have the opportunity to be a real-time extension of your pastor’s voice while he or she communicates God’s Word. You and your pastor can do some tag team teaching while you are being fed all at the same time.
  • 2. If the pastor shares something that moves you, inspires you or changes your life, there is a good chance it will have the same impact on the lives of some of your Twitter followers as well.
  • 3. When Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” ‘all the world’ applies to the Internet world, as well as the Twitter world. Do your part by going into all the Twitter world, tweeting the good news.
  • 4. You will have a stored database of your compelling thoughts and notes from your favorite sermons. Use a hashtag to keep up with the information that you share. We could even implement a universal Twitter In Church hashtag. Any suggestions?
  • 5. Many times people suffer from (SADD) Sermon Attention Deficit Disorder. So instead of just wandering off into space, simply wander off into the space of the World Wide Web. It’s better use of your time tweeting great thoughts instead of drawing on the back of offering envelops.

Some people, including pastors, get upset and complain about these techie people being a distraction when they are using their mobile phone Bible and tweeting in church. I think doodling on the offering envelopes is more distracting. Hmm… I haven’t seen a big push to remove those offering envelopes from the pew.

Thou shall Twitter in church! Remember God’s omnipresence applies to Twitter as well… get your tweet on!

Post By:

Scott Williams

Scott Williams is the campus pastor of the NW Oklahoma City Campus of You can check out his blog at, follow him on Twitter @ScottWilliams and read his book Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week.
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21 Responses to “Thou Shall Twitter in Church”

  • tami heim
    April 28, 2010

    Hi Scott,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I found a balance that works well for me. I take really good notes during the service so I can be fully present for my pastor and what the Holy Spirit is doing – then I tweet my notes on the ride home or later in the day. It’s a wonderful way to review the message and to your point – extend the truth!
    I appreciate your willingness to let your people get their twitter on! Way to push out the boundaries of the building. Good counsel on how to be even more effective.

  • Greg
    April 28, 2010

    I agree. Tweet away! We encourage attendees to use YouVersion during the service by providing free wi-fi in the building. We also urge them to follow the church on FB and Twitter.

  • Matt Larson
    April 28, 2010

    Let’s go with something simple like #church. It will be fun on Sundays to see the body of Christ having a presence on Twitter. I teach our church often and I would be totally cool with people tweeting throughout the morning. I do it when I’m not teaching :)

  • Bill
    April 28, 2010

    I don’t have a problem with Twittering in church as much as I do Twittering while in the company of others and while one should be listening and meditating.
    On the other hand, sharing something does help make it real.
    I would not be against using Twitter during church as long as I knew it wasn’t a distraction from why I am there – which could easily be the case I think.

  • beth g sanders
    April 28, 2010

    I live-tweet the pastor’s sermons each Sunday and have received several positive comments from followers who say they “feel like they were there,” even though they couldn’t be in the service that day.
    Also sometimes I’ll snap a photo of the worship band or something and upload it to the church Facebook page during the service.
    I don’t think it’s any different from just taking notes on the sermon – except that I get looks from people who think I’m texting and playing on Facebook. :-P

  • Bryan Pollard
    April 28, 2010

    I totally agree! ANY TOOL we can use to be more effective in the Great Commission needs to be considered.
    BTW – a great hashtag that’s already being used for this is

  • Jaycee
    April 28, 2010

    I’ve tweeted while listening to sermons because I just can’t help but share a good thing. One thing we have to be careful about though is that it may be a distraction to someone else & even to ourselves, preventing us from understanding the fullness of the message.
    Please let’s not get carried away with tweeting. Nothing is good when it’s extreme, except loving God of course.

  • Scott Smith
    April 28, 2010

    Good stuff Scott. Although you’ll get many comments with the opposite opinion, I think you’re right on track. Some of their points about distractions can be valid, but I’ve been known to distract myself in church lots of way without a phone or laptop. ;)

  • Loren C. Klein
    April 28, 2010

    A big #fistbump to you for this post, Scott. My church thinks they’re connected because they have a Facebook page and everyone at church friends each other, but they’ve totally missed the Twitter Bus. I’ve found Twitter to be quite liberating in the fact that I’m able to share not just the facts of the sermon, but also throw in my two cents. Growing up in church means that in a lot of sermons have a “been there, heard that” feel to them, so to be honest I really get bored no matter who is preaching.
    Of course considering what I just said about my church’s view of Twitter, this means that I’ve obviously fallen afoul of church leadership on the issue. They don’t like it because they can’t exactly control what’s being said, so they fear that I might give the church a bad name with my tweets. Considering the fact that unless you know me in the flesh, you don’t know where I go to church, it feels like a bit of a strawman. So all I can do is keep on tweeting and show them how useful it is.
    BTW, if we’re looking for a hashtag, I’ve been using #itic, since it’s short for “I tweet in church”, after all. ;^)

  • Jonathan Sullivan
    April 28, 2010

    I’ll thrown in a contrarian view just to say that Tweeting during service only makes sense in non-liturgical denominations. For those of us in churches with a high liturgical and sacramental tradition, Tweeting during liturgy is an unnecessary diversion from the sacramental action at best and an act of willful distraction at worst.
    My view: save it for after the service.

  • Just Life
    April 28, 2010

    I think both views are acceptable. Some like to share the info from the pastor right away, others will wait and digest then tweet their thoughts.
    Either way both help spread the gospel! Nice post.

  • Carl
    April 28, 2010

    I beleive it is a great way to spread the excitement of the word and the immediacy of sharing its impact on my own life. I only worry about acceptance by my wife…she and others I know will come around when they see God Glorified in a tweet like I do outside of church

  • Paul Steinbrueck
    April 28, 2010

    Hey Scott, nice to see you guest posting here at CMS.
    My take on Twitter in church is that there are times when it’s adds to the experience and time when it takes away from it. Seems to me that tweeting sermon quotes is much like writing down notes. Both help to reinforce what you’re hearing. But prayer and worship are intended to be intimate communication between the body of Christ and God. Tweeting at those times seems disrespectful to both God and the people around you.
    I don’t think it’s all that different from tweeting when you’re with your spouse. If it’s while you’re watching TV, that’s cool. If it’s while your spouse is pouring his/her heart out to you, not so much.

  • Scott Williams
    April 28, 2010

    Thanks for all of the comments and perspectives… Sorry I’m just getting around to responding, crazy busy day. Too busy to even twitter much. LOL
    #itic #twitteringinchurch #churchtweet

  • stephanie
    April 28, 2010

    great post! i would go with #twurch

  • John
    April 28, 2010

    @replying your pastor your questions can spark a great “post-game” conversation online.

  • Dennis Muse
    April 28, 2010

    I agree with Scott, with the reservations that Bryan makes, only as long as it does not become a distraction for the person tweeting and those around them. As long as they do not slip off into the world of twitter, tempted to start twittering back and forth with others.
    And one could easily loose touch with the message while trying to figure out how to get the tweet down to 140 characters:)

  • Rohn Gibson
    April 28, 2010

    Amen brother! Get your tweet on!

  • Sierra
    July 22, 2010

    I think “twurch” is awesome!
    I love tweeting during church, keeps me focused and allows me to send good one liners out to the tweet world!

  • Brandon H.
    November 25, 2011


    Very interesting post. I find it interesting that people tweet during church. I am not opposed to technology, especially social media. As a matter of fact, my church has a website. Also we also use twitter, youtube, flickr and facebook (@ogc2030).

    I do feel as though that there is a time and place for using these things. I just think that using these things, during church, can be hindrance to someone giving their full attention to the service. It is possible to write notes as the pastor is preaching and share them later on. This can be mainly applied to preteens and young adults who are drawn to these things anyways. Also, what if the person next to you doesn’t know Jesus? They could be drawn to your iphone, iPad, Blackberry etc. You then can become a distraction. Don’t get me wrong, I know people who use these devices during services. My only thing is we can’t get to carried away with them. It also can be a distraction to you as well. #imjustsaying

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