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Using Twitter in Church

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Using Twitter in Church

Although there are some pastors who are encouraging the use of Twitter during worship service to enhance the impact of their sermons, many are telling churchgoers to listen to the Word of God first and Tweet after church.

"When you are in corporate worship, Worship!" says John Piper, a prominent evangelical pastor and author. "There is a difference between communion with God and commenting on communion with God."

Since its launch in 2006, reports The Christian Post, Twitter has grown to 32 million users, including an active following of pastors and churchgoers. The microblogging service is touted as the fastest growing social networking site. Just a year ago, Twitter traffic was at 2 million.

Because it's especially popular among young adults and youths, some churches have embraced the technology and even encouraged Tweeting during church. Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Mich., is an example of where worshippers' Tweets during worship are flashed on large video screens. But, the issue has sparked debate among Christians on whether it's appropriate.

"While I personally enjoy Twitter and find it to be a useful tool for sharing and receiving information, I'm not excited about encouraging people to use Twitter during the Sunday meeting," Josh Harris, senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., wrote in his blog. One of the reasons why Harris won't be encouraging his congregation to use Twitter during worship is that it will likely be distracting. Tweeters may be tempted to check their e-mail or read their Twitter feed during a sermon. Their mind may also focus on what to Tweet rather than on worship. Moreover, the minutes they take to Tweet would be minutes in which they weren't actively listening to the sermon.

"The most important thing I can do while I'm sitting under the preaching of God's Word is to listen to what God is saying to me," noted Harris, who is also on the council of The Gospel Coalition. "I need to actively engage my heart and mind to receive."

Taken from The Pastor's Weekly Briefing (June 12, 2009)

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