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Counter argument: Why your church SHOULD be on Twitter

 
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Published on: 10/17/2013
Last modified on: 10/18/2013
by Kevin Duncan @kevinjduncan on Twitter

In the guest post I wrote for Christian Web Trends this week, I played devil’s advocate. I outlined reasons churches should NOT be on Twitter.

Today, I’m going to take issue with myself. I will look at the 5 reasons I offered in the guest post and debunk them.

Reason #1 – Hecklers

 
The argument:

There are people in this world who will be more than happy to heckle your church simply because you’re a church. And if you put your church on a public forum, such as Twitter, you may very well become a punching bag on said public forum. (…) Can you handle that?

Why this shouldn’t matter:

No one ever said serving the Lord would be easy. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Bible tells us time and again it most definitely is not easy.

2 Timothy 3:12 tells us “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Persecution just comes with the territory. Deal with it.

Besides, as persecutions go, being heckled on Twitter is extremely, extremely tame.

Reason #2 – Security

 
The argument:

If your church has a Twitter account, you run the risk of having your account compromised.

Why this shouldn’t matter:

The threat of security breaches isn’t a reason not to do something. Should you close a bank simply because there is the threat someone will try breaking into it? Would you forgo having an email account simply because your account could be hacked one day?

The answer should be no, of course.

The use of good security practices should remedy these concerns. Make sure you do the following:

1. Use a strong password. This includes using a mixture of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. Longer passwords are better.

2. Protect your password. Twitter will never ask for your password, so never give it to anyone claiming to be from the company. If multiple individuals are in charge of your church’s Twitter, make sure only these individuals have the password. And never, ever write your password down for someone to find.

3. Beware of suspicious links. Make sure you are on Twitter.com before logging in with your account information. (And if you’re using a Twitter app for your smartphone or tablet, make sure to use the official Twitter app.)

4. Make sure your computer is up-to-date with the latest patches, upgrades, and anti-virus software.

Finally, if only one individual is maintaining your church’s Twitter, use login verification to really secure your account. With it, only individuals with access to your password and your phone will be able to use your Twitter.

And remember, if your Twitter account is ever hacked, follow FaithContext’s handy instructions.

Reason #3 – Takes time

 
The argument:

And if it’s your pastor (updating Twitter), time very well may be the last thing he has to give.

Why this shouldn’t matter:

Things worth doing take time. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be worth doing! Besides, there are things you can do to minimize Twitter’s time commitments.

For example, as mentioned in the guest post, if your church’s website uses WordPress, there are plugins you can install which will update Twitter whenever your website is updated.

If your church is already on Facebook, you can link its Facebook page to its Twitter account. Then, whenever you update Facebook, you update Twitter as well.

Finally, if you have technology-savvy church members you trust, they can assist (or takeover) Twitter duties. Which brings us to…

Reason #4 – One voice?

 
The argument:

The person handling your church’s Twitter account is representing your church. (…) They are speaking for your church. Are you comfortable with that?

Why this shouldn’t matter:

Well, it should matter. But…

If you’re a pastor, do you handle every single church duty? You preach, of course. But do you also lock up the buildings? Handle all the financial paperwork? Clean? Do all the landscaping? Run the nursery? Are you the librarian?

You may do some of these things, but surely you can’t do them all. And you shouldn’t do them all.

The members of your church are called to serve. They each have talents and should be encouraged, and allowed, to use those talents in service of the church.

And if you trust some individuals with the nursery, and trust some individuals with the church’s financials, why wouldn’t you trust a tech-savvy church member or two with Twitter?

Reason #5 – Miscommunication

 
The argument:

If your church Tweets a lot, it’s possible, if not likely, you will eventually post something people take the wrong way.

Why this shouldn’t matter:

If your church is fearful of offending people, you’re in the wrong line of work!

As for inadvertently offending people: Miscommunication is going to happen from time to time. And when it does, look at is an opportunity to engage. The miscommunication could be just the thing God uses to jump start dialogue!

Closing

 
If you have not yet read the guest post on Christian Web Trends, I encourage you to do so.

And while I don’t do the commenting thing here, Christian Web Trends does so feel free to leave them a comment! And be sure to read their other helpful articles while you are there.

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