Jewish Journal


April 28, 2009

Churches get all aTwitter over technology



For being 2,000 years old, there is no shortage of elements of the Church looking to keep up with, and adapt to, technology. Four years ago, it was “Godcasting,” the sermonized equivalent of a podcast. Opportunists have offered pay-and-pray services. And pastors have had to learn to adjust to ministering in the Information Age.

Today, churches are turning to Twitter.

On Good Friday, Trinity Wall Street, a 312-year-old Episcopal Church, tweeted the Passion play. God is rewriting the Bible on Twitter. (Oh wait, that’s satire.) And my church, which I mentioned yesterday, has started a 9:01 service, “a casual and interactive worship experience” at which they encourage people to tweet prayer requests and praises.

When the service, held in the discipleship center on the Bel Air Presbyterian campus, launched 10 days ago, the pastor leading the service, though not speaking, was able to tweet: “glad you are here this morning. Need something? Ask me. I’m the guy in the green shirt.”

And during the service, a friend tweeted: “thank you lord for letting us enter into your presence this morning.”

My wife and I attended the service Sunday, and the worship-band-in-a-coffee-shop-with-friends feel made the morning. But I was clearly distracted by the invitation to play with my iPhone. In fact, I had to stop myself from visiting NYTimes.com and checking baseball scores.

More so, the idea of sending my prayer requests out for all to see—colleagues, enemies, other bloggers—made me a bit squeamish. Everyone knows I am a sinner. But I don’t need Google’s web crawlers knowing exactly how so.

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