Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Twittering Pastor

As a 36 year old pastor I am in a epic struggle to not fall behind the curve of technology. I do this in the context of wondering about how to properly balance the use of technology in my calling to deliver the message of the gospel and help people to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Even though it consumes a bunch of my time, I am trying to stay "with it" as much as I can so that I might make better decisions about the use of technology without just making assumptions. Emerging technology is allowing me to interact with a new generation who seems to communicate in an entirely different way.

Enter twitter. If you scroll down the right hand side of my weblog you will see a new section called twitter updates. If you don't happen to already know what twitter is and does, let me explain. Twitter is another social networking tool that lets users post very short updates about their life. Updates are as mundane and "at lunch" to more detailed and specific than you might like. You can send them from your computer or even text them from your mobile phone. Then people can "follow" each other. In other words you can choose to view the feed of another person's updates and other people can choose to view yours. If this makes no sense at all to you, it probably isn't that you don't understand how it works, it is probably just that you can't imagine why people would do something like that.

This may help, Youth Radio's Lauren Silverman did a piece on NPR today that could shed some light on the subject:

Public is the New Private

Silverman describes a sort of paradigm shift in the spheres of communication that may seem just plain odd to those of us over 25. But I refuse to throw in the towel. Just because I don't quite get it, doesn't mean I am not going to try and play along. Doing so in my role of pastor might become the equivalent of speaking louder to try and communicate with someone who doesn't speak English. The message of the gospel will never change, but the people listening will.


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