I was inspired by how twitter was used this year at both Ministry Days and General Assembly. I had only signed up for twitter a few weeks before and didn’t really understand hashtags. I got into it though. The “back-channel” conversation was engaging and actually helped me focus on what was being said at the microphones. It was also a ready made place to go back and get highlights of what had happened. The one liners that people quoted jogged my memory in way I don’t think written notes would have. I also could see what other people thought was important.
Always liking to try out new things, today was the second Sunday in a row that I encouraged people to go ahead and make comments on twitter during the service. We had about 85 people in church today and only 4 participated in the twitter experiment. Fascinating though, I think I love it.
Not surprisingly, no one tweeted during the prayer. Most were during the sermon. (Here)
Some of the tweets:
The reading was from Frederick Douglass. I love it here!
Cannot carry a tune, but like the music here
Not every one in this country is free. The poor struggle struggle with basics of survival.
Independence cannot exist without interdependence. What affects one of us affects all of us
Independence needs to be balanced with interdependence
What is it that keeps us from being free?
Healthy spirituality can help us realize that freedom
If all are holy, then we need to seek liberty and justice for everyone
Someone yelled woot at the end on the sermon. Rock on
that sermon needed a “WOOT!” Beautiful!!
Theresa hits the bullseye AGAIN
Interesting, yes? Going back over the tweets later, I could see what resonated with at least the people who were tweeting. I have always believed that sermons are conversations even if only one person is talking. It is how the listener interacts and filters it through their own experiences that brings the Spirit into worship. I think, as time goes on, more of the folks will get into twitter (or whatever is coming next) and the conversations will go deeper.
I do need to say that I don’t think it was at all disruptive for those who were no participating. It might be different if almost everyone was doing it. There is also the question of access. Not everyone has a smart phone and not everyone can afford to buy one. It does allow some access to those that can not attend a service in person. The tweets can show the flavor of what was happening, something that can be missed if you just read the written text. People who “follow” those who are tweeting also might be intrigued enough to come check us out some Sunday. I hope so. We have a lot to offer I think.
We will see how it all plays out, but so far, it is very exciting!
Its been a waterfall of words so far
Roaring round my brain.
In my ears and out of my mouth
As we all respond in song
The back channel flows
New friends are made
Follow me I’ll follow you
There is a pause to wonder,
“Is my smart phone
Smarter than me?”
That might be true
But maybe not
One truth I know is right
We is more than me
Join us now
Wherever you are
Whoever you might be
It is time to ride the waterfall
And swim in a bigger sea.