trick or tweet

That last post was what I would have tweeted if I had a Twitter account, but I don’t and so it’s not.  But in this issue of Time magazine there is an article about churches that encourage their members to tweet during the service (p. 51-52).  It may also be available on-line, but with my dial-up service I’m not about to find out.

 The lead church in the article is in Jackson, Michigan, a town which markets itself as the birthplace of the Republican Party.  Isn’t that a bit like putting signs at the city limits that read, “Waupekeneta:  we invented cancer,” “Lilac Falls:  our Besse was the first mad cow,” or “Tianjin:  the proud home of Chinese drywall”?

 The pastor said that he hit on the idea of Twittering as a way to make the church experience “not suck.”  While Twittering may foster community within the congregation, I have serious reservations about allowing—and especially encouraging—it during corporate worship.

 1. Any pastor who asks his people to Twitter while he is preaching does not respect himself or his message.  Or his people, who he is treating like children with ADD.

 2. Multi-tasking during worship may be a form of spiritual adultery, and with an extremely dumb idol.  You can’t even give God an hour a week of your undivided attention?  One church member confessed in the article that it is “distracting, if not impossible, to text and pray simultaneously.”

 3. Multi-tasking shortens already scattered attention spans.  People who multi-task during worship or class (you students know who you are) lose the ability to think deeply or follow a sustained chain of reasoning (and when they perform poorly on tests, they say it’s the professor’s fault, even though he told them exactly what was on the exam).  Shallow people make shallow Christians, so I don’t know how you can build a mature church on the back of Twitter.

 Other than that, I’m all for it.  Let’s go Cavs!



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11 responses to “trick or tweet”

  1. J Lemke

    What kind of student would multi-task during a class? Particularly a very well-run Barth seminar?

    (It will give you great pleasure to know I broke my Pocket PC yesterday.)

  2. The article “The Myth of Multitasking” simply must be read by all, especially pastors who encourage tweeting during worship.

    When teaching philosophy and religious studies I insisted students turn off all electronic devices and focus exclusively upon our topic of discussion. Sadly, I found most community college types have the attention span of ~3-5 minutes. God have mercy!!

  3. Hey, I got an A- on your last Sys exam. I am submittingthis as proof that I actually do pay attention in class while my computer is open typing your notes. 🙂

    I was out last night and was on the floor almost crying when Turkalugga hit that shot, to which I was being heckled incessantly by my Cav-hating friends (I think they were just bitter b/c the Red Wings lost). Then a couple minutes later about injured both of my fists when I jumped in the air when the King hit that shot.

    All that aside, my laptop is significant in my note taking. First, my writing is hardly legible even for my eyes, so typing is much neater. Second, I can type about 20 times faster than I can write, so I can write more stuff down. Finally, I’m a meticulous note-taker, so my laptop is pretty significant in not only my retention of information, but also for future reference, which is much easier to find electronically than on a notebook or pad.

    I know there are some who really don’t pay attention in class, but please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Besides, I’m writing down some pretty valuable info since it’s coming from you! 🙂

  4. Wow, nothing like reading tech bashing articles and comments on a weblog. Something seem strange about that?

  5. mikewittmer


    It would be if you are reading this while you are Tweeting and emailing and checking the stock market. I don’t think I said anything negative about technology, but just our uncritical use of it.


    I have no problem taking notes in class, but I do have a problem with the student who has 8 windows open during class, checking job postings and who knows what else. That unfortunate fellow is losing his ability to think.

  6. “losing his ability to think”….oh so true.
    Having said that….another fine read in this regard is Doug Groothuis’ The Soul in Cyberspace.

  7. I’m not sure I can listen to advice or commentary on technology from a man who only has dial-up.

    btw, here’s the article:,8599,1895463,00.html

  8. mike


    I’ve got Amish relatives, and I am way ahead of them. So everything is relative. I just hitch up my horse and head to my office at school when I want to get on line.

  9. steve peters

    Mike , I’m sure how twittering will make church “not suck” when one the most boring thing to do is read the answer to the twitter question “What are you doing now?”. P.S. piper has good blog on tweeting “

  10. steve peters

    that should have said,” I’m not sure how twittering”

  11. steve peters

    Mike I’m sorry I was blogging and listening to a mp3 of you at NewCity.

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