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September 10, 2012



I totally agree Andy! But then I refuse to put anything on PPT except intimations/notices before worship, or hymn/song words and pictures/video during.

I read something somewhere about people texting questions to the preacher during the sermon... what the heck is that about?!!!


I'm bemused that this happens! Fortunately, it doesn't in my local church...

Lucy Mills

I wonder if we'll start needing a 'Quiet Zone' in our churches or conferences, where phones etc. are not allowed - then those who find it helpful to tweet or take notes on their phones don't disrupt those who find them distracting!


Cannot one politely ask from the pulpit that all such interference be turned off for the duration?
Out of respect for fellow worshippers, and - even more vitally - for the One we have come to worship and listen to.

Philip Webb

I like the story of the US preacher who heard a mobile go off during his sermon: he called out, "Son, if that ain't Jesus, turn it off!"

Peter Dominey

Hi Andy,
I see a number of comments echoing your frustration so I thought I'd start to set out reasons why we need to carefully nurture this vulnerable fledgling practice...

So I offer some points to broaden the conversation, though this will need others to help develop it as I struggle to 'get' and very rarely use twitter - I'm a bit of a dinosaur...

Tweeting in services may help to:

1. Avoid the sacred:secular divide which has developed between services and life where people are encouraged to leave their 'lives' and 'troubles' at the door for a spiritual experience apart from their context.

2. Help a duplex relationship between the service and the rest of reality. (duplex communication / relationship flows in both directions and are dialogical)

3. Avoid churchs' over-emphasis on asynchronous broadcast techniques (static church websites, mp3's of sermons, video broadcast of services, sermon notes in the notice sheet, home group resources, letter from the pastors desk, etc). To do this by providing a complimentary synchronous engagement between people so allowing live-time conversation.(The notion of synchronous communication develops the previous point about duplex)

4. Makes our meetings more 'in the public square' and hosted by culture (as in hosted by twitter platform) and so we are hosted by culture (incarnational) and Christ can then be mediated through culture to convert his church to him.

5. Twitter provides an enduring trail and continuity of conversation beyond the time of the sevice

6. Allows those beyond the service to participate

7. Helps kinaesthetic learners, who often struggle with church services, engage with and process a mainly auditory experience which is often more monologue.

8. Enculturates the Gospel - twitter is particularly relevant to certain demographics and so it gets the church out of a sometimes odd sub-culture rather than a contextualised and also also counter-cultural stance

9. as our mouth and ears are part of our physical body so our phone and tweeting (listening/speaking) are an extension and expression of being human

10. provides a tool to facilitate multi-voice worship in larger (20+?) gatherings where it cannot easily be achieved through conversation alone. Be that person to person or/and a way for the main service leader (if there is one) to be asked questions, challenged and corrected.

11. distributes power and discernment of truth amongst a wider group than the one(s) with the microphone - though this then has the knock on of a newly disempowered group of those without smart phone which needs addressing.

Looking forward to others who 'get' twitter to show more us other things abot this or argue against this....

And I'll try and tweet more in the mean time...

Daniel Beckett

I would have to agree with Peter-thank you for making the case and helping us to think outside of very traditional models of 'church'.

Richard Littledale

Not sure I agree with you, Andy - as it can bring about more, rather than less, engagement. Wrote about "tweeting from the pew" last year: http://richardlittledale.me.uk/2011/03/24/tweeting-from-the-pew/

Then someone tried it for herself: http://storify.com/richardlittleda/tweeting-from-the-pew

Jim Mullin

Andy's position is consistent as he has refused to use powerpoint as a medium for communication. I think if i listen clearly i can hear the church of the 16th Century complaining about the Bible being translated and printed in english (own language) as it distracts from the word being read in Latin.
Surely as long as the message is is consistent and constant through the ages we remain a holy an apostolic church. Or are we more concerned with the packaging than the message?

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