Thanks to The United Methodist Reporter for the excellent story, Twittering Churches: United Methodists Connect Through Social Networking,by staff writer Bill Fentum. Bill’s article highlights Methodist congregations that use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The Reporter, a national publication, recently interviewed me about my thoughts on social media in the church (Full article at the UMR Web site).
… Churches shouldn’t ignore the trend of hyper-communicating, experts say.
“God expects us to use every resource we have for his kingdom, and technology is no exception to that,” said Beth Sanders, a Web designer and member of Christ Church United Methodist in Memphis, Tennessee, who oversees a Twitter account for the congregation.
Ms. Sanders posts four or five tweets a day, linking to podcasts of pastor Steve Dodson’s sermons or to the staff blog. She also “live-tweeted” a recent guest lecture by author Tony Campolo, sending updates from a laptop* in the church sanctuary.
Some of the church’s 137 (as of today 172) Twitter followers are members of Christ Church while others live outside the area, many of them complete strangers to Ms. Sanders.
“Who knows,” she said, “it might be someone who lives in California but they’re moving to Memphis and want to see what United Methodist churches are like here. I post as if they were all seekers.”
As it’s a particular passion of mine to see the Church use technology and use it well, I’m encouraged and excited by the attention Bill has brought to social media in the church, not only from a technology point of view, but the human side as well. In the future, I hope to engage not only the congregation, but the community around us and beyond.
*I actually live-tweeted from my iPhone while holding a Flip video camera in the other hand. I’m good at multitasking.