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the pastor and twitter

Twitter can be a scary place for pastors: it limits your posts to only 140 characters.

Aside from Facebook, I believe Twitter is perhaps the second-most-important place for a pastor to be.  A few of the same reasons from yesterday’s post apply to Twitter — so I won’t go into those.  I will offer a few other reasons I believe you as a pastor should be on Twitter.

1.  You have instant access to thought leaders and trend setters.   The list of people I follow on Twitter ranges from Guy Kawasaki to Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll to John Maxwell.  In real-time I am provided a snapshot into what they are thinking or reading.  It’s like shadowing them around but being able to do so from your smart phone.

I have tried to select leading thinkers from multiple disciplines: church, theology, business, science, leadership, etc.  With Twitter and Twitter-related apps (my favorite is Hootsuite), you can easily create lists based on themes, topics, or people.  This allows you to sort the information into digestible form.

2.  You have the ability to spread your influence.  As John Maxwell says, leadership is influence.  One of the benefits of Twitter is that it allows everybody to have a platform, not just the megachurch guys or Forbes 500 leaders.  You have great thoughts and insights, too — so share them.  With a quick retweet, you can also spread the influence of others.

3.  It’s a great networking tool.  One of the criticisms of social media is that it only creates virtual relationships, thus causing real, living human relationships to suffer.  There is some truth to that.  But I have also found that social media, Twitter in particular, has opened up new networking channels that never before existed.  And in several cases, the Twitter connection led to a real, living relationship (my friendship with @jamesreiner is a good example).

How else have you benefited from being on Twitter?

You can follow me on Twitter: @kenhensley.