Internet Evangelism Idea #9: Churches, Be a Tweep and Not a Twit on Twitter
This post is part 9 in the series 20 Ways to Share Your Faith Online leading up to Internet Evangelism Day on April 25. We encourage you to tweet, share, blog & discuss these ideas in your church & circle of influence.
Way too many churches, church leaders and pastors are talking to “empty rooms” on Twitter. Jesus intentionally reached out to everyone. He has asked us to do the same.
Intentionally follow EVERYONE who has a blood pressure within 15 to 25 miles of your church. Go to search.twitter.com and use Advanced Search. (You’ll find a great post at mashable.com on how to use this feature.) When I say follow EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE. Follow EVERYONE within 15 to 25 miles of your church even if their tweets, profile or photo don’t fit into the nice, sweet and comfortable “Christian” box. Why would you follow only Christians or people who go to your church? Step outside the “Christian Ghetto” or “Holy Huddle” when using Twitter.
Intentionally look for tweets from struggling, hurting and broken people. Begin conversations with them by simply sending a tweet that says, “I just said a prayer for you.” There are many people on Twitter who are lonely and living on the edge who simply need just one person to let them know that someone cares. Find a need and fill it. Look for tweets from people who need something. I saw a tweet from a woman who needed a clothes washer. I contacted several of my friends who I knew would want to help. It was great to send a tweet telling her how to get a new washer.
Due to the economy, there are many people who are unemployed, living in poverty, doing without or are struggling to pay their bills. I want to turn over tables when I see pastors and church leaders tweeting about their latest clothing shopping spree, their new I-Pad or the fancy restaurant they are eating lunch at. The amount of foreclosures is breaking records across the country. How does a tweet about the new church building or new carpeting in the sanctuary look to a person who can’t pay their mortgage?
Don’t just tweet potlucks, bible verses or sermon audio links. Use Twitter to connect, engage, converse and share with people who DON’T come to your church or possibly any church. If you are not going to interact with people outside the walls of your church, then don’t bother with Twitter.
Stop tweeting in “Christian-ese”. I cringe when I see pastors or church leaders tweeting in a language that only church insiders or people who just left seminary would understand. Stop tweeting phrases and terms that people who don’t hang out at church 6 to 7 days a week would never understand. Remember this phrase when tweeting: “Don’t be too hip for the room.”
The pics in this post are of people who were not coming to our church. My pastor and I began connecting with them through twitter. They are now regular attendees, coming to small groups and participating in church ministries.
Mike Ellis is a messed up Christ follower. He has been working in promotion and marketing for 31 years. He is not a social media expert but he does know enough to be dangerous. You can connect with Mike through his blog and Twitter.