Texting About The Text (Tweets from the Pulpit)

Kenny Jahng —  2009/05/08 — 3 Comments

Turning off your cellphones during a sermon in church is so 90’s.

Nowadays, you still don’t want to take a call from the pews, but pulling out the iPhone is becoming ok with the pastor in the pupit.

Tweets from the pulpit

In fact, he is doing the same thing!

Time Magazine covered two churches that recently broke out of the pack of forefront churches to embrace Twitter in the pews. Similar to Trinity Church’s recent Twitter Passion Play during Easter worship, these churches explicitly incorporated twittering as accepted and part of worship by the congregants.

I sense this is the overlap of three complementary desires:

  • People are tired of the sit and soak model of taking in sermons.  The messages don’t sink in.
  • People want to be actively involved in worship in some way.
  • Similar to one of the core strengths I have found in online Church worship experiences, people continuously have questions while they take in a sermon and seek clarification of what they just heard.  If they wait till after Church is over, it is usually too late.

Are you ready to text about the text on Sundays?

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3 responses to Texting About The Text (Tweets from the Pulpit)

  1. This is very interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet…I see your point about engagement versus a passive taking in of church teaching (have you ever read "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Friere?). I feel engaged and active if I scribble notes in the bulletin during service. However, I would feel I was being disrespectful to the pastor if I took out my smartphone and started twittering about the sermon.

  2. @JC1125 – These examples are ones where the pastors have specifically solicited congregations to actively Twitter during worship.

    There is a difference between "FEELING engaged and active" by physically being active in the pews through writing your thoughts down. But BEING ENGAGED with the Word and Community at the same time is a bit different, I'd argue.

    Along this line of sit & soak vs. worship with active peer dialog, I encourage you to try out live online worship experiences sometime – such as http://www.liquidchurch.com — after a couple of times, you may find the live chat component, monitored by pastors, completely transformational.

    The fact that you can ask questions, share insights, support others in their struggles during the message, learn about others' theological perspectives, learn about how others are receiving God's word, and just plain old asking for definitions of words, phrases or concepts just mentioned in the sermon — all may broaden how you approach God in worship.

    If you are aware of Lectio Divina, an ancient Christian practice of praying the Scriptures, one method is to do it within groups. In a similiar sense, it is an individual personal experience (like you in the pews in relation to the preacher and sermon). But the communal interaction throughtout Lectio Divina experiences is what makes it so divine and impactful. The interaction, sharing, reacting and building upon others' journey down the same path is what makes Lectio Divina amazing.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Cell Phones in Church | Godvertiser.com | Digital Engagement Strategies That Work - 2013/02/23

    […] you, and a distraction from the activity of worship itself OR it can be an amazing tool that augments the worship experience as well as empowers the congregation to be evangelistic *during* the actual service itself. […]

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