Lately, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t introduce someone to Twitter. Mike Hyatt has a great blog about it here, if you don’t know what it is. Most people’s first reaction is almost always the same: “Do you really think anyone cares what you’re doing throughout the day?” Yes, I do, but that’s not the point here. The most import aspect of Twitterland, however is how it facilitates community through small, succinct posts of 140 characters or less.
Recently I introduced a good friend and seminary professor, Mark Overstreet, to Twitter. At first he didn’t know what to do with it, but last night he called me with a proposal: “What if a church used Twitter for evangelism?” First I thought he was envisioning people sharing their faith through tweets (a twitter post). While I could see someone doing that, I’m not sure that it would be effective in this type of community, where the personal transparency and openness is valued over any other agenda. However, his angle was different.
His thoughts centered around a congregation using Twitter as a way to encourage each other as they share their faith throughout the day. The way he envisioned it happening, the pastor and staff would use Twitter for thirty days as they share tweets about their ministry opportunities throughout the day. After the staff trial, the Pastor would then challenge the entire congregation to join them. Each time someone had a potential ministry opportunity they would post a tweet. From tweets about sharing their faith with a coworker, encouraging someone in need, or praying for a friend, members would post a tweet prompting the rest of his church group to say a quick prayer for them beforehand and/or celebrate with them after the exchange, while simultaneously, encouraging all members to find their own ministry opportunity.
I slept on that idea and I still think it could be an amazing tool for a congregation to use. Now I need to talk my pastor, Pete Wilson, to lead the way.