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Just came across this news story describing how Next Level Church in Charlotte, NC encouraged people to Twitter during the Easter service. Everyone they interviewed seemed to think it was a great idea. That it did not distract their attention from worship or the message. And that it was a way to use the tools available to us today to connect with others share with them what was going on during the service.
I’m an advocate of using social networking to connect with people and generally speaking I think it’s good for Christians to give their non-Christian friends a glimpse into what day-to-day life is like as a Christian.
I’ve also posted before about how my church has encouraged people to text questions about the message to a moderator who then passed them on to the pastor for a Q & A session at the end of the service. At the time I thought that was useful. But now I’m not so sure…
My gut reaction
I’ve got to admit my first thought was Twittering during a worship service sounds like a bad idea.
People say it’s not a distraction, but I don’t know how it could not be a distraction.
If you believe a worship service is an experience with God… the creator of the universe… the most important Person in your life then it’s a big deal.
Imagine how you would feel if during a date with your spouse or significant other, he kept Twittering about it. You’re trying to carry on a conversation with her, but she periodically glances down at her iPhone for 30 seconds at a time. You’re walking along the beach enjoying beautiful sunset together, he’s got one hand in yours and one hand punching buttons his Blackberry.
If my wife did that, it would totally tick me off. I imagine God must feel the same way.
Others feeling the tension
After I wrote the above, I was reading a blog article on Church Solutions where the author (sorry I couldn’t find an attribute) was feeling the same tension while worshiping at the Catalyst West conference. He/she wrote:
It was in the first half-hour of the conference, when Hillsong United had transported the crowd of 3,200 worshippers to the mountaintop. Awe-stricken, something within me rose up and prompted, “You’ve got to tweet about this.” I turned around to grab my phone from my chair. However, as I looked at my cell, another thought came. “Are you seriously going to interrupt this amazing time of worship to post a tweet? Will it be any less relevant if you do it in five minutes?”
On second thought
But an interesting thought hit me as I read the rest of the post. It lists the author’s tweets during a conference. I’ve never tweeted during a conference, but I’ve blogged my notes live. That was a helpful way for me to remember the important things I heard and to begin discussing them with others.
And come to think of it, I sometimes write down notes while my pastor is giving the message. I never considered that a distraction. In fact, I would guess if you took a poll of pastors, most would say taking notes during the sermon and then reviewing them and reflecting on them during the week is beneficial to spiritual development.
Is Twittering any different than that?
So, maybe it’s not such a cut and dry issue.
What do you think about Twittering during a worship service?